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Scholar Athlete: Isabella Johnson, Brandeis High School

SAN ANTONIOWhat are you most excited about for your senior year and why?

I am most excited about experiencing the final moments of high school. I know everyone freaks out about the last football game, the last Homecoming, the last high school sports game. But I am excited to live out the mindset that you truly only live once and you have to experience every moment like it’s your last. That’s what senior year is about; living every moment as if it’s your last because it is. I know that this year will bring a lot of new bonds with people and I am excited to finally wrap up four years of hard work.

I am also excited to leave a legacy at my school. I have experienced success in numerous school activities and I hope that future generations will always remember me as the one who had “no limits.” If I can positively inspire a community to do great things, I would hope that they spread that same inspiration to others. I live by the words, “The greatest leader is not always the one that does the greatest things. She is the one that inspires people to do the greatest things.”

What drives you to be successful in the classroom and in your particular sport?

My family is always my backbone. I am the oldest of three girls, so I am always trying to be a role model for them. My family makes many sacrifices for me, and I know that my success in the classroom and my sport brings satisfaction to them. I am always trying to set the best examples for my sisters because I want them to be successful as well. Also, if it was never for my dad, I would have never started playing golf. He has taught me a similar relationship between golf and life and how you have to play from wherever you end up. There are no second chances in golf, similar to life; but you always have the opportunity to remove yourself from a tough situation. Knowing I have the support of my family is what drives me to pursue endless limits.

What advice would you give other student-athletes on how to succeed on the field, in the classroom and remain close to family?

To succeed on the field, all your focus and energy has to be on the field. There has to be a constant reminder in your head that you are not only competing against others but yourself as well. However, there are no limits to what you want to achieve on the field. The only limit you have is your mind. You need to stay fresh, confident, and focus on your own personal improvement.

Similarly, in the classroom, you have to dedicate your time to focus on your schoolwork. Your athletic ability will only get you so far. I advise taking advanced prep classes but do not overwhelm yourself too much. You have to remember that the only limit you have is yourself. Respect your teachers and classmates, they can help you whenever you are struggling with understanding a concept. Success in the classroom is extremely important. Make sure to stay focused and always dedicate your energy to self-improvement.

Most importantly, prioritize your family. They are your backbone and whatever they do will always be for your benefit. It is important to give them your time of day, even when you may have hundreds of other things going on. Talk to them. Work with them. Your family will always keep you humble at your high points and hopeful at your lows.

What do you like best about the high school you attend?

The best part about my high school is the support we have from all the teachers and administrators. I believe what makes Brandeis the best is its faculty because they have aided in shaping the successful students in our school. Everyone is extremely supportive of everyone, yet competitive at the same time. Nevertheless, we are all pushing each other to reach our full potential and become the best version of ourselves. Brandeis is the kind of community that celebrates one another because of our differences and rejoices in the success of each individual. We are truly one big family.

Where do you want to attend college, major in and why?

My dream school is the University of Notre Dame and I plan on majoring in political science. Over the summer, I was selected to participate in a Summer Scholars program and I had the opportunity to earn college credit through classes at the university. It was a dream come true for me. The campus is breathtaking, the people are so energetic, supportive and radiate constant positivity. I have visited many college campuses and never felt like I was at home until I stayed at Notre Dame. The rich history, religious affiliation, culture and athletics just add to the list of reasons to attend. I have truly never experienced anything like it. I always say the program was the highlight of my life and I hope to attend the school in the fall of 2020. I desire to major in political science because it connects to a range of policies and issues that affect society. I believe that our government needs to change for the better and I desire to be one to ignite that change.

If you could have one superhero power, what would it be and why?

If I could have one superpower I would wish to have the power to teleport. Traveling is one of my favorite things to do. I love exploring and adventuring with my friends and family. With the power of teleportation, I could go anywhere at any time. It would also save a lot of money on plane tickets.

If you could take any athlete or celebrity to your senior prom, who would it be and why?

If I could take any celebrity to prom I would take Condoleezza Rice as my friend. Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat who served as the 66th U.S. Secretary of State. She was the first female African-American secretary of state and alumni from The University of Notre Dame. She is known for being a hard-working woman who has overcome many adversities. Her ability to lead is something that I admire and I believe I would learn many valuable lessons from her.