Pursuing my lifelong dream through The Accolade


Grace Johnson, Web Managing Editor

When I was a little girl, all I ever wanted to be was a dolphin trainer at SeaWorld. It was my dream, at that time, to just dance in the water with them all day and put on shows for people.

But I soon grew out of that dream.

One day in fifth grade, I was sitting on my living room couch and watching a baseball game with my dad. Suddenly, a nostalgic feeling washed over me as this young woman appeared on my TV, holding a microphone to an athlete’s face, asking pressing and emotion-driven questions. It was clear that she understood sports — it was that moment I realized sports journalism would be my future.

I soon became obsessed with my new dream — the perfect combination of my love for sports with my passion for writing. This caused me to dive deeper into exploring the ambitious world of journalism.

Enrolling in the Journalism 1 class in my sophomore year was one of the best decisions of my high school career because it gave me an experience of a lifetime. It cannot go without saying that there were also many people along the way who helped me become the person and journalist I am today.

When I first joined The Accolade staff, the then web editor-in-chief Andrew Ngo took me under his wing and became a mentor figure in my life. I can still remember how ecstatic I was when he told me I could come down on the field to cover a football game with him for the first time.

With our shared passion for sports, we soon bonded, and he taught me all of his sports journalism knowledge. He taught me how to stalk sports teams, interact with professional journalists and how to always have fun reporting in a professional way while representing our school.

That’s where I got the opportunity to meet and grow closer to my next person to attribute, head football coach Peter Karavedas, who has gone above and beyond to answer all my interview questions and always allows me on the football field.

But one of the main people who ignited my passions for journalism and really made me excited for this career was Accolade adviser Tommy Li. He has not only provided me a great experience being on staff, but he has also given me a realistic experience of journalism in the actual world and what I can expect in the future.

But even before joining The Accolade, I could not have accomplished anything without the extremely supportive and caring foundation that my parents graced me with.

As a senior who is proudly chasing to obtain her 5th grade dreams, I offer three pieces of advice to everyone who wants to pursue their dreams: Do what makes you happy, have confidence in yourself and, most importantly, do not be afraid to put yourself out there.

Though many people told me it would be hard to get into the journalism industry because you had to either be a famous ex-athlete or have personal connections, it never has or will stop me from achieving my dream.

But the main point I want to stress is to never be afraid to put yourself out there because once you start to take initiative, people will notice that you are bold, and it will open up so many possibilities.

With the right amount of confidence, it will enhance your mental mindset and help you accomplish almost anything.

Though 5-year-old me would miss fantasizing over what to name her dolphins and what costumes to wear as their trainer, I cannot wait for what is ahead of me and as I continue my dream at Arizona State University with a major in sports journalism.