The love I find in journalism

By Princess Kollie, Class of 2012

To dream you’ve got to believe; to believe, you’ve got to be determined; to be determined, you will achieve your dreams. Hello my name is Princess Kollie. I’m from West Africa, Liberia, but my residence is in the United States with my mother and three siblings.  I’m a Junior at George Washington High School, class of 2012.

My dream is to become a Journalist because writing is something I find passion and freedom in because it gives me the opportunity and privilege to engage in Freedom of Speech and for my voice to be heard reaching out to teens around the world letting them know that it doesn’t matter what country you are from, what language you speak, what you wear, or what religion you are. 

If we can learn to accept criticism as a compliment, we will learn that life will not always be the way it was when we were a young child because as life moves on, changes become a force that we cannot not run from; we must adjust to life yet always believe in ourselves because if we don’t, nobody else will for everybody has a dream of their own. 

I was once asked by a college journalist why I wanted to become a journalist and I responded by saying my background is what has given me the courage and inspiration to seek and find Love through writing.  He said he would love to read an article on why I was so passionate about writing, so here I am pouring my heart out for the first time on how I found love through journalism.

I came to the United States in July of 2001, started school in the third grade in Bristol School District, but I didn’t know how to read.   I was also having difficulty with speaking because I had an accent which made the other kids laugh when I tried to speak in class or tried to read, so I became the silent girl never having the courage to speak up.  With the help of my teachers, I made progress with my reading and started to speak up more in class. Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher because I like to help others and wanted to that just like my third grade teacher helped me. In the fourth grade, I joined the Reading Olympics Team at my school with the intention of making friends because I was tired of being alone.   My new friends captured my interest, but the stories in the books I read is what captured my heart and motivated me to stay on the Reading Olympics Team.  Little did I know that I would discover a talent  within me.

Sometimes I imagined myself as the characters in the books or even imagined myself as the authors who wrote the breath-taking stories. I felt proud of myself because beautiful stories were wrapped in rectangular size books, but sometimes I would rewrite the ending of a story putting it in my own point of view to my satisfaction because I disliked how some stories ended. By rewriting the ending of stories, I became interested in writing poetry so I started reading poems by famous poets to get ideas on how I could also be good at poetry.  I remember the first poem I wrote which was titled, “THIS IS ME.’’  It got the attention of many people because for a starter, I went in deep and emotional, telling the truth about who I am and what the world fails to see when they look at me. Compliments from family, friends and strangers kept me writing but, most importantly, my past is what inspired me to write because I am a story – a story that needs to come to light. I overcame the impossible and unthinkable, and I want to tell these stories through books and poems to send a message out to other teens and adults that one bad situation should not take over your life and to always believe in yourself because that is how you will get to your destination and fulfill your dreams.

I’ve turned all the criticism that I’ve received from people in the past into a journey turning those negative words into positive compliments.


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