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Bernadette Benjamin is a senior at High School for Public Service and lives in Brooklyn, NY. As a student, she is involved in many things, inside and outside of school. At school, she takes part of the Gay-Straight Alliance, Anime Club, and is the Co-Founder of DiP and Music Appreciation. Outside of school, Bernadette has been apart of Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets, Youth Justice Board, Youth Advisory Board, and Coro Exploring Leadership. Currently, she holds an internship with Coro Exploring Leadership, is Co-Chair for Campus Youth Leadership, and is working on a story with YCTeen. When she isn't busy being a student, she loves spending her free time watching anime, reading, writing, and researching political topics. Bernadette has a love for Rock, K-pop, J-rock, Celtic, and Anime Openings and Endings. She is completely in love with Japanese culture. When she attends college, Bernadette wants to double major in Japanese Studies and English, in hopes to write Japanese Literature. She strives to one day be a supreme court justice and a novelist or work for the United Nations. 



Melissa Stanger is an associate editor with Business Insider. Previously, she served as the associate editor of Levo League, a social good startup that provides career resources for professional Millennial women. Her articles have been syndicated to other national online publications including The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Yahoo Finance, and her fiction has been published in The Daily Palette, the University of Iowa writers' blog.

She is also a craft beer enthusiast and homebrewer.

From my observations in the past 4 years in High School, I realized everyone was mad. The anger danced around them as they walked into school, shoving and kicking their way through the hallways. It wasn't until 11th grade, the year we cried and struggled, that I realized I was mad too. Mad at police brutality. Mad at racism. Mad at identity loss within the black community. I wanted to write and bring to light to the issue we faced, but in a new way. Taking a 6th grade assignment, I morphed it into a political agenda, a story, that addresses the issue using Vampires and Wizards. Making the struggle reach audiences that haven't been touched. —Bernadette Benjamin


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