I’m Karis Rogerson, a writer and journalist living in New York City. Below is a sample of some of my work, from Pavement Pieces, an NYU publication, Seventeen and The Spartanburg Herald-Journal.

I believe journalism can be a two-sided coin: on the one hand, it exists to watch over people in power and ensure that the public is told the truth and left to interpret it on their own; on the other hand, journalism is important because it can shine a light on the good in the world — the women trying to better their city, perhaps, or the teenagers doing their part to change people’s lives.

Someday, I hope to have a career working for a newspaper, writing novels and selling personal essays.

Please feel free to read these samples, following the “Read more” links to see the full article, then browse through my website.

NYC Sparx gives Bronx girls a love of STEM and art

Brittney Rodriguez, 11

Brittney Rodriguez is an 11-year-old ball of energy. She bounced from her spot, kneeling on the floor in her black dress, to the other side of the white-walled classroom, looking for a hot glue gun. She eagerly announced to anyone who would listen that she wants to go to NYU and be a heart surgeon when she grows up.

Meanwhile, a few inches from her, Pamela Flores and Brianna Gonzalez, both 11, sat cross-legged between a table and the wall, putting pieces of grey paper onto a large sheet and giggling, swapping stories about mutual friends from school. They were making a background for an “Angry Birds” project.

Read more…

State of Baltimore: Women step up to help at-risk kids

Ericka Alston, left, and Tonette McFadden

Ericka Alston interrupted herself in the middle of a sentence and yelled out a name. A boy with long dirty-blond hair, one of the teenagers piling out of the nondescript white van, turned around. His face split into a grin at the sight of Alston.

“Miss Ericka!” he yelled, loping toward her. The two met in a big bear hug, laughing. It had been a long time since he had been at the drug rehab facility, and as much as Alston wished he weren’t back, she was glad he was getting help.

Soon he ran back to join his peers, but the smile lingered on Alston’s face.

Read more…

Rainy skies cancel opening day at Yankee Stadium

IMG_9999.JPGThousands of people should have milled about, buying concessions or taking quick restroom breaks; the stadium should have been filled with the cheers of passionate baseball fans; the New York Yankees should have held their first game of the 2016 season yesterday.

Instead, the field at Yankee Stadium in the South Bronx, grew soggier by the hour as unrelenting cold rain poured on the city, driving organizers to postpone the game and leaving fans to forge their own entertainment.

Alex Jennings came to New York from Philadelphia with two friends. It was a spontaneous trip, planned after they got free tickets. Although they knew the weather looked “iffy,” when the game hadn’t been cancelled before they left Monday morning they decided to go ahead with the trip.

The three men were on the train into the city when they heard the news: the game had been postponed.

Read more…

Two Spartanburg area Girl Scouts receive Gold Awards

Makayla Hutzell, photo by Tim Kimzey

Two Girl Scouts from the greater Spartanburg area were recently awarded the Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive.

Makayla Hutzell, one of 22 recipients of the Girl Scouts South Carolina — Mountains to Midlands Gold Award, wanted to keep foster kids from going through her own experience.

“I collected book bags and suitcases for foster kids in Spartanburg because when I was going through foster care, everything was put into trash bags so I lost baby pictures and stuff,” Hutzell said. “I wanted to choose a project that was close to my heart.”

Hutzell was in foster care from the ages of 3-6 and moved 13 times within those three years. She has two siblings, Caleb, 15, and Amber, 16, who also went through foster care.

Read more…

USC Upstate students to perform at famed London theater, if they raise enough money

Photo by Michael Justus

It will be the trip of a lifetime for 11 USC Upstate theater students — eight days in London participating in the International Youth Arts Festival and performing at the Rose Theatre — if they can raise the $35,000 needed to get them overseas.

The eight actors, two technical directors, student composer and their faculty director, Jimm Cox, head to London July 12 to perform in the Rose Theatre, a historic theater in London patronized by Dame Judi Dench, among others.

This week, the Upstate players found out the dimensions of their London stage are smaller than expected. On Tuesday, they practiced in the smaller space, groaning about the small dimensions as they pulled out mats and warmed up for rehearsal in the Studio Theatre on campus.

“We’re creative people; we’ll work it out,” said Cox, director of theater and of the foreign-study London program, encouraging the students.

Read more…

I’m 22 and I’ve never been kissed

landscape-1452547657-syn-svn-603804-10153389026584884-1548952924733912225-nI love when my friends swap first kiss stories.

We go around the circle, each girl sharing her story. It was under a bridge in the rain. It was during a movie. It was when she was 15, 12, or 17.

And then it’s my turn. I get ready to tell my story but I’m 22 and I don’t have a first kiss story to tell. I also haven’t had a boyfriend nor have I been on a date.

The truth is, I thought it would happen on my 16th birthday. There was a boy I was totally in love with. He’d never shown any interest in me, so naturally I believed he was madly in love and would kiss me on my birthday. Didn’t happen.

Read more…

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