by Chauncey Nettles

Photo of Aja Purvis by Kelsee Ford

It was around 10:15 a.m. on a Tuesday at Murrah High School. Aja Purvis sat at her desk closest to the wall. She was nervous and impatient about getting her essay back. She had worked so hard on her grammar and spelling the night before, and she had put her heart into the work.

When Purvis’ short story came back, she was hoping for a good grade. It turned out to be 100.

“Yes!” Purvis exclaimed.

That’s when she realized that she could write. She started practicing and doing it more. “I had always loved to read and write,” Purvis says. Since then, she’s grown to love writing long stories in class and at home.

“I would love to get better at what I do,” Purvis says of writing.

Purvis, now 16, is in her second year of the Youth Media Project. She attends Murrah High School as a junior. Her extracurricular activities include speech and debate and being on the Hoofbeat newspaper staff at her high school.

The young writer plans to attend Howard University in Washington, where she will major in psychology and have a minor in something along the lines of broadcast journalism. She aspires to become a forensic psychologist but really enjoys writing, and hopes to write books as well.

“I want to be a better writer, as far as being comfortable enough to question the unknown and make people believe in my writing,” she says.

When Purvis reads and writes, she makes herself feel like the person on the page. She is a free spirit, she’s courageous, and she enjoys helping others. She is attending the Youth Media Project to improve her craft.