The journey from Rochester to Long Island

Jim Mandelaro currently writes for the Democrat and Chronicle, covering local collegiate athletics and the Rochester Red Wings (Photo Credit: Democrat and Chronicle)
Jim Mandelaro currently writes for the Democrat and Chronicle, covering local collegiate athletics and the Rochester Red Wings (Photo Credit: Democrat and Chronicle)

The story of Cameron Boon in journalism began on July 28, 2007 when my parents won a silent auction for me to go up into the press box of a Rochester Red Wings game with a local writer by the name of Jim Mandelaro. When I arrived, I knew I loved what I saw. I was in a baseball press box with a professional writer. To make things even better, the game was really exciting and it drew me in from the start.

A couple of things happen that day that really made me fall in love with what Mandelaro was doing. First off, I was already a huge sports fan. So covering sports on the daily looked like a job in heaven for me. Talking to players, writing about teams, it just all seemed right for me.

The second thing that happened was I got put into his blog. That again, is another good story. I kept score of the baseball game on a scorecard like they all did and brought it home. What I ended up doing, to the surprise of everybody in my family and Mandelaro, was wrote an article about the game. Complete with quotes and everything, I sent it in.

A very intense 11-year old Cameron Boon watches as the Red Wings play the game (Photo Credit: Jennifer Boon)
A very intense 11-year old Cameron Boon watches as the Red Wings play the game (Photo Credit: Jennifer Boon)

To my surprise, he published a piece about me on his blog and posted the article as well, complimenting how well it was done. When this happened, I was ecstatic. I just got published as a 11-year old and felt on top of the world. So, I figured I would pursue the sports writing business and that is how I got into journalism.

As for Stony Brook, that story is not as big. Originally, I wanted to go far away from home, but not too far. I didn’t actually realize how far Stony Brook was away from Rochester but that is besides the point.

I visited down here on admitted students day and met Marcy McGinnis, who is now at Al Jazeera America, and she told me all about the program that they had. I was attracted to the school by how young they were and already successful. I wanted to be a part of that.

The decision was made on my way home from my high school’s New York State Federation Basketball Tournament of Champions Semifinal, a game that we lost, and it kind of just came to me.

Cameron Boon with his younger brother Tyler, 16 (top right) and younger sister Brianna, 13 (bottom right) at the Family Weekend football game last year (Photo Credit: Jennifer Boon)
Cameron Boon with his younger brother Tyler, 16 (top right) and younger sister Brianna, 13 (bottom right) at the Family Weekend football game last year (Photo Credit: Jennifer Boon)

I wanted to be a part of a young program that was getting better as it went and was already one of the top 50 schools in the country. Oh and also being close to the Big Apple on Long Island helped as well.

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