By Janeal Downs
It did not matter that she was spending her eighteenth birthday stuck in traffic; what mattered was that Grace Zipperer was on her way to the nation’s capital to “have a lifetime of unanticipated experiences wrapped up into one week of adventure and self-discovery” at the Washington Journalism and Media Conference. This summer, store Grace was nominated to attend the conference which was held at George Mason University. “Since my freshman year, medicine I have known that I wanted to go into journalism,” Grace wrote in an article. “Current events, covering dynamic stories, interviewing amazing and important people, traveling around the globe, experiencing new cultures and ideas, getting the word out to people so they can further their own understanding of the news, being objective and fair in presentation, uncovering the real truth, and being the first person on the scene is exactly what fascinated me.” Grace said because she is so passionate about journalism, she takes every opportunity available to gain exposure into the field.
Grace, who is currently a senior at Richmond Community High School, has a GPA of 4.56. She hopes to further her education in college. A few of her top college choices include University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, American University in Washington D.C., or Seton Hall University in New Jersey. Though she is not sure of the exact track of journalism she wants to focus on, Grace knows she wants to double major while in college. “I would like to major in journalism and international studies. I’m really interested in the world as a whole and what affects all of us, not just small pockets of the community,” Grace said. International Studies is something Grace said really intrigues her, and she also hopes to get the chance to study abroad while in college.”
To prepare for college, Grace has been involved in numerous different organizations. She is currently the Mayor of the Community Council and plans to run for her senior year as well. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, Mu Alpha Theta, 1600 + club, and she is the vice president and co-chair of various committees for her senior class. Along with her involvement within the school, Grace is also very involved within the community. “I love working with kids for community service, because it’s the most gratifying and enjoyable.” Grace said. She said one of her favorite activities is her work with the Blackwell Elementary Head Start Program and her participation with Camp Baker, which is a camp for disabled children. She has worked at the camp with her godsister, who is a camper with Down’s syndrome, and she said her work with the camp “has meant the world to me.” Grace has also worked with Westover Hills Methodist Church and a dance camp for disabled children. Another of her favorite activities is swimming first with the summer league team, the Granite Marlins and two year round teams for USA swimming. She has been competitively swimming since she was only six years old.
Grace said her parents, who are both teachers, influence her the most in life. They have always taught her about the value of her education and she said they always have her back. “They would be perfectly happy for me to do anything that I want to do and they’re just extremely supportive,” she said. With the support of her family, her intense passion for journalism, and desire to increase her knowledge of the international affairs and travel, Grace said that no matter what “Richmond will always be my home; I love Richmond.”