BY DEXTER MCCREE, Feature Writer
ST. PETERSBURG — One day her complete story will be told in a number one best-selling book, but only Jiana Johnson knows what that story will be. There is so much to the Jiana tale and one can only begin with the cookie charming face and the candy smile that garners commendations as she enters the room.
The impudence in her analytical reasoning brings both caution and appreciation in her worldviews at such a tender age. She truly has a story to tell.
Born in Los Angeles, Jiana moved to St. Petersburg at the age of two with her mom and two older siblings. On the days when her mom would go to work, her brother and sister would pretend to be news reporters.
“I believe that kind of takes part in all that I want to do now, because watching them when I was younger has definitely given me the drive to become a journalist and spread my ideas to others,” Jiana said about her oldest memories.
Unlike others who may value materialistic things, she says that having quality clothing is nice, but it’s not something to brag about.
“It isn’t so much about the fortune and jewelry to me,” she said. “I believe that as a character you should be able to love yourself and not have to claim material for self-reassurance. At the end of the day, all you have is yourself because you are your biggest commitment.”
Jiana said her biggest supporter and friend is her mother, Jeanette Johnson. Their relationship is filled with encouragement, correction, inspiration, instruction and friendship.
“Jiana is a special young lady and I’m so proud of her,” said Johnson. “It’s difficult to put into words just who she is. [She’s] very caring and driven to do well. I sometimes wonder if she takes on too much, but she continues to strive. She wants to make an impact.”
Despite the early mornings that were risked in order to put Jiana in specific programs, they both look out for each other and do whatever is necessary to help her reach the ultimate goal: being a best-selling author.
“When I published my first book, I was 12,” stated Jiana. “Since then it has been nothing but a stepping stone to show people what I’m made of. I also do this because I just love writing. As long as you do what you love, then everything will follow soon behind.”
Jiana is a junior copy editor for Spartan News Network at Lakewood High School. She aspires to be an environmental photographer and published author. While managing to be on the honor roll since freshman year, she continues to participate in a plethora of afterschool activities including volleyball, tennis and soccer.
Her higher education plans? She would like to attend either University of South Florida or Ringling College of Art and Design. Working as an intern at a publishing company or in a BuzzFeed are her dream jobs while in college.
“BuzzFeed to me is a group of colleagues who get together in a positive environment in order to equally share their ideas and make a difference, which is something I want to do,” Jiana remarked.
Speaking publicly is something that she is also learning to do, along with her natural born way of engaging in conversation with others.
“My goal is to change someone’s life at least once a day,” said Jiana. “Whether it be paying for the car behind me in the drive thru or helping someone with their groceries, everything you put into the world is what you get back.”