Islip Terrace, 17, appears on the cover of Time magazine


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A high school student from Long Island posed as the face of the “lost year” of millions of young Americans on the cover of the April 12 issue of Time magazine.

Twyla Joseph, 17, from Islip Terrace, was photographed by Time magazine photographer Mohamed Sadek. She also shared her experience applying to colleges and helping her family make ends meet during the pandemic with Time reporter Katie Reilly.

“It could have been anyone on the cover, it wasn’t necessarily me,” Joseph told a CBS News New York reporter ahead of the release of the next issue. “But no matter what, it would always be the same. We have lost a really important moment in our life.

The Time magazine cover tells the personal story of Joseph who went through the pandemic and explains how she is one of the many young people facing these specific challenges.

Joseph’s SAT exam was canceled just a day before she took it in March 2020, Time reports. She was then put on leave from her part-time job at Panera, which forced her to spend a large chunk of her college savings on bills. Distance schooling also caused her to lose close contact with her guidance counselor, which made the application process even more difficult.

“I can’t go to college with $ 900 in my savings account,” she told Time. “I literally thought, what if I take a year off, maybe a year or two, and try to wait until things get back to normal? I really thought, Maybe I shouldn’t go. Maybe it’s not worth it.

Now a senior in the Central Islip School District, Joseph has decided that she will enter college in the fall and is waiting to see those who accept her. She only applied to nearby schools, such as SUNY and CUNY, to save money and it did not require a SAT score in the application. She told Time that she was excited about all the new experiences and memories college would bring, such as meeting new people, learning, being independent, and living the dorm life. “if I can do it in a pandemic.”

The article cites that since the coup of Covid-19, first-year college enrollments have plummeted, including those applying directly from high school.

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