As a part-time volunteer in pulmonary research at USC Keck Centers, full-time journalist, photojournalist and most proudly a teen adviser at the Pasadena Public Library (PPL), Haneen Eltaib leads a very busy life.
Eltaib began to give back to her community about eight years ago by volunteering as a teen adviser at the PPL Central Branch as a way to fulfill community service hours for high school. What started off as a school requirement quickly turned into a long-lasting relationship due to her devotion to the role. Her job there has now expanded to include training new volunteers, heading their events and editing their zine publication.
Writing has always been a life-long interest of Eltaib. Her first step into the world of journalism was when her high school English teacher recommended her to be a high school reporter for a local newspaper.
“It kinda went up from there,” said Eltaib. “I started to edit and contribute at the PPL Teen Zine, where I wrote book reviews, event coverages, page layouts, stuff like that.”
Eltaib, originally a biochemistry major, decided to pursue journalism as a career in Fall 2019 after experiencing a “downfall” in physics.
“Writing comes pretty easy to me,” said Eltaib. “I like journalism because it has a pretty straight forward formula but I can play around with word placement and setup.”
Eltaib is currently a journalist for the PCC Courier but has most recently found a calling for photojournalism after her journalism professor, Nathan McIntire, recommended it to her.
“Nathan recommended the Intro to Photojournalism (course) to me because I needed more Journalism credits,” said Eitab. “It’s just something that keeps pulling me in.”
Also a full time student with 19 units, Eltaib has found it most difficult to pursue her photography in the midst of the national pandemic.
“Her photography is awesome,” said Emily Bonill, fellow journalist. “We went to an art exhibit together for a story I had to write. I remember her getting all the angles of the exhibit and it was really awesome to see her in action.”
Before COVID-19, Eltaib’s photography was published weekly on the PCC Courier. Unfortunately, with the pandemic came the order of a mandatory quarantine, which has affected both her writing and photography.
“It’s hard to find motivation when I’m home all day,” said Eltaib. “Photography is definitely more difficult since I’m stuck here, but I’m doing my best to not let this whole situation get me down.”
While stuck in quarantine, Eltaib remains hard at work to fulfill her duties as a student as she hopes to one day attain a masters in journalism in order to work for a newspaper or news organization.
“I don’t really have a set plan,” said Eltaib. “My endgame in journalism is to do investigative journalism and work with underrepresented groups.”
One thing is for sure: Eltaib’s passion for journalism does not go unnoticed.
“Since the beginning of the [Fall] semester, I noticed she was always bold enough to take more than one story per week,” said Bonilla. “That always made me think, wow she wants to take this stuff seriously.”