Scholar Spotlight (See All)

Arnetta Johnson (302)

On a typical school day, many scholars wake up in the morning, head off to school, and return home hours later to do their homework, play outside, eat dinner, or watch some TV.

Most days of the week, Arnetta Johnson's life is exactly the opposite. Although she just turned nine a few days ago, Arnetta has spent the last few years building up her speed as a budding track star. Instead of going home to rest after school, that is when her day is just beginning.

Arnetta attends track practice four days a week. She has learned to juggle school, homework and her athletic interests. School is very important to her because that is where her love of track began. "It all started in Kindergarten when I was doing a lot of relay races at recess," she said. "I would be the one who helped my team win." When Arnetta's mother noticed how much Arnetta enjoyed running, she encouraged her to try out for a traveling track team, The Quiet Storm. Arnetta joined the team in 2013 and her life hasn't been the same since.

They (My Family) remind me the best part is to have fun.

Travel teams like The Quiet Storm travel all over the United States and the world. So far, Arnetta has traveled to Boston, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. to compete in races. In 2014, only a year after joining The Quiet Storm, Arnetta participated in the Colgate NY Women's Semi-Finals and took home a trophy for 6th place. She runs the 400 and 800 meter races. Traveling to different cities is one of the things that she likes about being on the team, but it takes a lot of work, she admitted. Practices last a few hours a day and many times she gets home after 9:00 pm. At practice, she spends time "working on my form and high knees," she said, but when she gets home, even if she is tired, she makes sure that she does her homework before going to bed.

Staying active is one of the main reasons why Arnetta loves running. Her #1 reason is fun. Arnetta feels that it is important for kids to stay active, which is why she would like to be a professional track coach one day. That is, of course, after a successful track career. While she's pretty confident about her future on the track field, she has other options too. Arnetta recently became a finalist as a prospective scholar for The Ballet Tech School in New York City. This fall, she was a part of the highly selective Ballet Tech program and went through many rounds of auditions to be considered. She is awaiting their decision, but says she'll be fine whether or not she is accepted to the school. "If I get in, I know my family will be very proud of me," Arnetta pointed out. "If not, they will still be proud even if I don't get the spot. They tell me they're proud of me no matter what, if I get in, or when I win or lose." Her family emphasizes that sports and ballet should be fun and Arnetta thinks so, too. "They remind me the best part is to have fun."

This month Arnetta will compete in the Colgate Women's Games. After the Colgate Games, she can be found with some of her favorite things. Her favorite food is lasagna, and her favorite snack is popcorn. Her favorite TV show (when she gets a chance to watch) is "Jessie," and her favorite chapter book is "Mercy Watson to the Rescue" by Kate DiCamillo. Arnetta loves chapter books—almost as much as she loves running track.