Saideepika Rayala is a 17-year-old high school senior at Olentangy Liberty High School in Powell, Ohio. She is the founder of the Columbus Civic, an email newsletter focused specifically on various immigrant and refugee communities. The newsletter provides the local news of Columbus in the native languages of these communities to help them become active citizens.
Coming from a family of first-generation immigrants, Sai has seen the gap that exists between newsrooms and immigrant communities. She hopes to use her skills in writing and journalism to advocate for this issue and bridge the gap. Sai has built up her journalistic skills and experience by writing at local publications such as The Delaware Gazette and the Columbus Free Press, volunteering as a writer for the Central Ohio Red Cross Communications Team, and being the editor-in-chief of her school’s news magazine, The Cannon.
She has also conducted research concerning the factors of susceptibility to fake news in adolescents that has won state science awards. Outside of journalism, her other activities include volunteering at US Together, being the team lead for the Olentangy Liberty branch of the International Business Internship Program, and being a senior officer on her school’s student council.