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by Courtney Bierman

Jewish Press Intern


My name is Courtney Bierman. I am sixteen years old, and a soon-to-be junior at Millard South High School. Most importantly, I am the summer intern here at the Jewish Press; that means a few articles will appear here in the next few months that were penned by me. I have been given an awesome opportunity: My material will be printed in a real publication under my name. This is a big deal for me. Very few kids my age get jobs like this one. Some of my friends work long hours at restaurants and grocery stores, cleaning tables and dealing with rude customers. I get to brag to them about having my own desk complete with phone and computer.

I am Jewish. That much should be obvious. Judaism means community more than religion to me, as I am not particularly religious. However, I am incredibly grateful to be a part of Temple Israel. It was there that I met some of the smartest, funniest, sweetest people I know: Rabbi Azriel and his wife Elyce, Rabbi Brown, Cantor Shermet, and many more. They’re some of my favorite people in the world. Much of the person I am today was shaped by them.

My hobbies are nothing out of the ordinary. I have always loved to read (I’m a Potterhead), I have an excellent relationship with the television in our basement, and I really love movies as well. Like, really love them. Although I do not have a very clear idea of what I want to do when I grow up, I have given a lot of thought to becoming a film critic. I volunteer at Film Streams on weekends when I have time. At school I am a student ambassador, someone who shows new students around the building. I am also a Patriot Mentor, someone who helps freshmen adjust to high school. I am a member of the jazz choir and the environmental club. My favorite extracurricular activity is the Millard South Gay-Straight Alliance (of which I am president). I’m an animal lover, so much so that I do not eat meat. I enjoy the music of Regina Spektor, Florence + the Machine, Mumford and Sons, and Lady Gaga. My heroes include (but are not limited to) Jane Goodall, Audrey Hepburn, Atticus Finch, Barack Obama, and Lady Gaga; the last one seems like an outlier, I know, but I love everything she stands for.  Listening to her music is a major boost in self-esteem.

I have a twin sister named Madison (she’s thirteen minutes older than I am). My parents are Mary Wampler and Phil Bierman. My dad works at UNMC as an oncologist, and my mom works at the VA as its director of employee health. My family has a dog named Cassi. She was adopted almost four years ago from the Nebraska Humane Society. It was the best decision we ever made; we all love her to pieces. Our pet corn snake, Popcorn, occupies a large aquarium in our basement. My family has also played host on several occasions to baby birds and baby squirrels that either my sister or I found in our backyard and decided were in distress. Usually our rescue missions were not appreciated by our parents.

In the months to come, I’m going to be spending a lot of time at the very desk I am using to type this. I want this summer to be a learning experience for me; I want my writing to improve, and I want to learn the ropes of a real office. Journalism as a career is not out of the picture for me. If that ends up being the path I choose, this will be excellent training. If I go down a different path, that’s great too, as writing is a wonderful skill to have in any profession. I am grateful beyond words for this opportunity, so I am going to work hard to make sure that my articles will be enjoyed by those who read them. You will not be let down.

The Jewish Press Summer Internship is generously sponsored by the Murray H. and Sharee C. Newman Supporting Foundation.