Women Who Inspire a New Generation: A Chat with Kid Reporter Zhoriél Tapo
We interviewed Scholastic Kid Reporter Zhoriél Tapo as part of a series highlighting the voices of our Scholastic Kid Reporters and their experiences covering notable women in celebration of Women’s History Month. Zhoriél chatted with us about interviewing former First Lady Michelle Obama. Learn more about Zhoriél’s interview with Michelle Obama on our Kids Press website.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’ve been a Scholastic Kids Reporter for four years. I am the Louisiana Junior Beta State President, and the Club President at my school. I really enjoy doing service projects and helping the community. I’m also the oldest of three children, so that means I always have to set a good example for my younger sisters because they truly look at me to do the right thing. I also enjoy reading. My favorite author is Angie Thomas.
What has your experience been like as a Scholastic Kid Reporter?
I’ve gained a lot of new friendships and relationships that I know will last a lifetime. When I first started being a Kid Reporter, I did one article, and now I’m still talking to some of the people I’ve interviewed four years ago. I’ve also interviewed a lot of well-known people, for example, Michelle Obama, Misty Copeland, and Chef Emeril Lagasse. Overall, I just love being able to share my stories with the world.
Describe how it felt to interview former First Lady Michelle Obama?
It was absolutely wonderful! It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It was so nice to get to talk to her about something she was so passionate about—encouraging others to eat nutritious foods. And, of course, I enjoyed speaking with her. But the main thing is that it was also an educational experience because she was also teaching us a lesson that not only kids need to hear but also adults.
What did you learn from your interview with Mrs. Obama?
I learned that you are never too old to learn, no matter how old you are. Another thing is, you only live once, so make the most of all the experiences that you get. The sky is the limit!
What do you hope other kids and adults will take away from this interview?
The biggest thing I want them to take away is that if you have a dream, regardless of how hard it may seem or how many people say that you could never do it, go after it. It’s your dream and no matter what they say, you can make a difference no matter what age you are.
I know it’s hard to beat an interview with Michelle Obama. But is there a female leader that you dream of interviewing? Why?
There are a few other people that I would want to interview, like Zendaya because she is a great actor, dancer, and singer. Also, Beyoncé because she holds the current record for the most Grammys won, and Viola Davis because of her recent EGOT status, which is winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award.
What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
This is a month that is meant to shine a light on all of the accomplishments that women have done in history, and it also shows how far they have come, because they didn’t always have the same rights as men. I would love for it to expand to Young Ladies History Month. I’m making history, and so are many other young ladies around the world.