Sara Selevitch took advantage of all the opportunities that the Revere school system had to offer during her 12 years in the district. And it seems that in every endeavor in which she participated, she excelled.
Sara won science fairs in middle school and the history fair in tenth grade. She graduated in 2010 from Revere High where she was a gifted student and a varsity softball pitcher and volleyball player. She was also a member of the RHS Book Club.
“Softball was probably my primary activity for most of my life until high school,” said Sara. “I played at St. Mary’s field and did some traveling teams.”
She played varsity softball during a period when the RHS program was transitioning from Coach Joe Nichinello to Coach Joe Ciccarello.
Pursuing her goals in writing
Sara graduated in 2014 from Emerson College in Boston with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Writing Literature and Publishing.
“That’s where I really started doing non-fiction writing and personal essays – in the literature classes and getting a feel for the landscape of writers that I liked and wanted to emulate,” said Sara.
Following her graduation from college, she moved to Seattle where she put together her writing portfolio and then applied to graduate schools. She also wrote for the Seattle radio station, KEXP-FM, and volunteered as a writing tutor for fifth-grade students.
She received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing in 2018 from CalArts, where she had the opportunity to study with one of her favorite writers, Maggie Nelson, who has since won a MacArthur “Genius Grant.”
At CalAlts, Sara wrote a book-like thesis project on surveillance. It was a topic that struck close to home. Her father, Robert Selevitch,” has been a private investigator for several years.
“I tried to weave together many different senses of concepts of surveillance,” said Sara. “My dad’s work was a part of that. I also covered technological surveillance and how that’s a big part of our world right now, as well as writing as a form of surveillance, keeping track of the world around you.
“My father definitely inspired me to choose that [surveillance] for my project,” related Sara. “I interviewed him for my project and I thought about how his work was the first time that I heard the word ‘surveillance’ and I had always associated it with just his job. My research made me realize how my conception of surveillance has changed over the years.”
Living and working in Los Angeles
Now 28 years old, Selevitch is living in Los Angeles and continuing her writing.
“I’ve been writing non-fiction essays and getting them published in magazines, newspapers, and Web sites,” said Selevitch, who is also working at a local restaurant.
Sara is progressing toward publishing a book of her own essays on topics such as labor issues and being employed in the restaurant industry.
“I try to write every day,” said Sara. “Last fall I wrote a story for The Dig about one of my dad’s clients who was exonerated from prison. I interviewed him and wrote a long piece about his reintegration into the community after he was released from prison.
“I also wrote an article in May for Eater (a food and dining network) about the working conditions during the pandemic and the article went viral and that was cool,” said Sara.
A proud product
of Revere schools Sara attended the old McKinley Elementary School on Yeamans Street. “It’s sad there is no more McKinley School,” she said, remembering the earliest years of her Revere education. She continued on at the Beachmont School. “My brother was able to attend the new Rumney Marsh Acadmey but it wasn’t there when I was in school.” Sara said being an established writer was always a goal and the Revere schools set a very strong foundation. “Writing is what I’ve always wanted to do,” said Sara. “I was the editor of the newspaper (The RHS Patriot) at RHS my junior and senior years, so I feel like that got me going on this path a little bit.” Sara said that some excellent Revere teachers inspired her on her writing path. “I had Ms. [Nancy] Barile and Ms. [Althea] Terenzi and Ms. [Mary Ellen] Dakin for AP English,” said Sara. “They were definitely great teachers and they were all really supportive. I feel like everyone at Revere High was very encouraging and recognized my writing ability and my passion for writing and really encouraged me to pursue that.” She also credits her parents, Robert Selevitch and Karen Selevitch, for their support as well. “My parents recognized my talent and passion for writing, and they gave me the space to explore that on my own terms,” said Sara. “They’ve always encouraged me to follow my dream and never pushed me to be more “practical” or follow a more traditional career path. I’m grateful for that and them. My mother was head of the Friends of the Revere Public Library and she used to take me all the time to the library and that’s definitely why I like reading so much.” Sara’s brother, Steven, who is four years younger than she, is a graduate of Syracuse University and works in the field of accounting. Three thousand miles away on the West Coast, Sara said she misses the city of Revere. “I’m really glad to have come from a place that has real people and real working-class people and I think that’s been useful to me out here in the kind of more Hollywood, superficial landscape, she said