Our Mentors

Using a developed curriculum, the Young Journalists Mentors help grow writers, and through their writing help grow readers. It emphasizes reading to support writing and writing to support reading. Reading, be it through research or absorbing other journalist’s writings, and each other’s writings, supports further writing.
The Young Journalist helps students prepare for both FSA Reading and Writing Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) English Language Arts (ELA) Reading and Writing Assessments. Additionally, The Young Journalist prepares students for The Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST) system administered three times per year tracking out student's progress in learning the Benchmarks of Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.) Standards throughout this school year. Our goal is to help students graduate from reading at grade level to proficient or master.

Bonnie Bramwell

Bonnie Bramwell is a senior at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL. She graduated from Indian River Charter High School and currently lives in Vero Beach. Her major is Strategic Communications, with a minor in literature. She is a columnist and the social media manager for The Crimson- Florida Tech’s student-run newspaper. She is also President of Lambda Pi Eta, Florida Tech’s National Communication Association’s official honor society. Once she graduates, she aspires to become a Science or English teacher.

Leah Cortez

A grown-up theatre kid turned college science and construction student who is happy working with children, once again. She appreciates well-spoken opinions, thoughtfully assembled facts, expressive fictional characters, and well executed formatting alike. She wants to teach children to recognize the characteristics of the different writing styles and appreciate the choices made by the writer (or speaker); believing we can provide young students a foundation for deeper level engagement with the material they will be observing and they, themselves, assembling and presenting for all their days. She is a glad addition to The Young Journalist mentorship program.

Thomas Hardy

B. S. Government, Nasson College. Publisher, Vero Communiqué. Software systems owner (now retired). Founder, The Young Journalist. Memberships: National Press Club, Columbia Journalism Review, Society of Professional Journalists, LIONS (Local Independent News Society) and Pulitzer Center K – 12. Children’s book author, “The Exclusive Life of Reba K. Williams, a Parakeet.”

Sean Lowery

Sean Lowery joined The Young Journalist as a mentor for the 2022-2023 academic year. A graduate of the University of Kansas, he is currently a bilingual teacher with Elevate K-12. Elevate K-12 expands access to live education across the country, making sure that access to a certified teacher can be a reality for every student, no matter where they live or what their circumstance. Previously, for four years Sean taught ESL to children in China. ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers specialize in helping non-native speakers of all ages and levels learn the formal grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation of spoken and written English, while giving them confidence in the common usage of the language in order to communicate clearly and comfortably with native English speakers.

Julie Paez

Julie Paez joined The Young Journalist from Shorewood, Illinois, after relocating to Indian River County, where for four years she was Director of Trinity Christian Preschool. There she served as an educational leader, responsible for curriculum development. Julie began her teaching career in August 2010 as a PK4 teacher, at Trinity Christian Preschool, where she developed lesson plans, created activities, and established a fun, loving and structured learning environment. A graduate of Trinity Christian College, Julie has a Bachelor of Arts Degree, with a major in history and Minors in English and Communication Arts.