As a college student/intern/tutor/babysitter/freelance writer figuring out what I want to do with my life, I wouldn’t be where I am now without the help of some amazing people who helped me early on in my career.  They could have easily ignored me and dismissed me as a “little kid,” but instead, they took me under their wing and gave me work experience, guidance, and time that I will always value.

Thank you to the editor of the Town Journal in Ridgewood, NJ.  At 14, I sent you my book report on the Odyssey as well as suggested that I become the paper’s next book reviewer.  You didn’t laugh, but invited me into your office for a meeting, where you offered me theposition.  I was elated.  You worked with me through awful draft after awful draft peppered with nonsensical words from the thesaurus because I thought they sounded fancy (and New York Times-esque).  You sent me long e-mails full of suggestions about how to improve my writing, and I took each one to heart.  I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to work with me and allowing me to pursue what I thought was merely a dream.

Thank you to Kate Jackson of HarperCollins Publishers.  After I wrote an article in the Town Journal about my disdain for teen books, she wrote an editorial in response.  I then asked if we could meet and discuss our differing opinions on teen literature, and she agreed.  When we met, she offered me a summer internship at the company in the children’s editorial department.  Kate and the team I worked with that summer were incredible, and it made me realize that writing will always be a part of my life.

My point here is that if you’re young, don’t be afraid to do what you love.  I used to think that I had to be of a certain age to accomplish certain things, but I don’t think that way any longer.  Age isn’t a barrier to accomplishments, and it doesn’t define who you are.  Always strive to achieve, no matter how old you are.