Magazine article The Quill

Starting (and Staying) Local Is Key for Growth

Magazine article The Quill

Starting (and Staying) Local Is Key for Growth

Article excerpt

Take advantage of opportunities around you.

That's what Chris Vaccaro has done, time after time, in his Long Island community of Sachem. That's what he tries to instill in his journalism students at Hofstra University. That's the living example he has displayed since age 15 at Sachem High School, where he began his sports journalism career and love of all things Sachem.

"I am fortunate to grow up and still live in today a community that just has a lot of pride in the opportunity that it provides its students, and I am a product of that," Vaccaro said.

The product he's referring to has taken him from the Southampton Press in the Hamptons on Long Island to the New York Daily News; from AOL's Patch.com to his current jobs as Topps Digital's editor-in-chief and an adjunct journalism professor at Hofstra, his alma mater. Regardless of his accomplishments and awards that could fit an entire article in themselves, Vaccaro chooses to stay grounded.

He was born, raised, educated and married and started a family all within the confines of his Sachem community. When asked if he would ever leave Sachem he replies, "That's blasphemous. Not only would I never leave Long Island, I will never leave the walls of my Sachem community. I grew up here, lived here and I'll die here. I feel very strongly about Sachem; it's everything to me."

Vaccaro's community pride has spilled over to the outside of his house, which is covered in the local high school's colors, and to his wedding, which was on the 50-yard-line of the Sachem High School football field. …

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