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By Asia Mangum

August Harp, 15, is a devoted soccer player with a love for his home state, Mississippi. Harp lives with his parents and three siblings in Jackson and will be a junior at Murrah High School in the fall.

Harp says that when he grows up, he wants to be a writer, maybe a photographer and/or even a soccer coach.  

“My parents influence me the most,” Harp said. “I spend the most time with them. They paid to put me in soccer, and they are the ones who (always) put me into things. Also, my peers influence me.”

But Harp’s love for soccer can sometimes get in the way of his schoolwork.

“My biggest challenge was probably in 10th grade,” Harp says. It’s hard going to (my) school’s soccer practice then select soccer practice until 10 p.m., and then staying up until 3 a.m. to finish homework.”

Harp is in the Youth Media Project because he believes it’s an opportunity to have a voice in the community, have a platform to talk to people through writing and photography, and get his opinion out. His favorite soccer player is Cristiano Ronaldo. He is addicted to Copa America, even though he thinks our national team isn’t all that great.

He deeply loves Mississippi. “It’s the only thing I’ve been around.There’s a lot of social gatherings going on. Everybody knows everybody, at least where I’m from,” he said. “I dislike the roads, though. Other than that, I like Jackson.”

Harp wants to help the community by representing the youth of Jackson. “I can give the youth more of a voice, which is the point of this project. That’s why I’m here at YMP,” he said.