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Young LDS woman to be high school Grammy correspondent

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 6 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

In "Following Christ," Stephen Robinson tells the "parable of the divers." As a kid, he participated in a diving competition at the community swimming pool. Most of the children in the competition were pretty good amateur divers. They arched their backs, pointed their toes and pulled off crisp, pristine swan dives.

But, there was one kid who wasn't as well trained and his dives were always sloppy. He didn't keep his feet together and he never pointed his toes. Instead, he went for adventurous back flips and doubles with fearless enthusiasm. In the end, the careful, precise divers were all shocked when this courageous boy won the competition. Despite the imperfections of his dives, when the judges factored in the degree of difficulty, his dives always had the highest score.

This, Lisa Spice said, is the way her daughter Allison lives her life. Like the boy who went for the hard dives, Allison Spice tries things that are hard for her. She may not pull them off perfectly, sometimes she may even fail, but in the end, she has accomplished much because she had the courage to go for a high degree of difficulty.

Allison Spice is a 15-year-old from Trabuco Canyon, Calif., and she has been chosen as the first-ever high school media correspondent for the 2013 Grammy Awards.

The year before she entered high school, Allison heard about Grammy Camp, a live-in music industry camp where high school students learn about the workings of the music industry. Grammy Camp participants meet guest artists, write and record new music, and perform in professional music venues. Allison applied for both the performance and journalism tracks of Grammy Camp, and was accepted in music journalism.

Allison attended Grammy Camp as a journalist two years in a row, and then got called back this year to participate as a student media correspondent for the Grammy Awards, a position that usually goes to college students. Spice, a sophomore, is the first high school student to participate.

Allison said her interest in music journalism came from her father's interest in music and her mother's interest in writing. They taught her to love both, and now she has found a way to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Before Allison discovered music journalism, her dream was to perform. She sings and plays the guitar, and started doing both in her own band when she was 11 years old. She attended a performing arts school in Orange County in the seventh grade, originally with the intent to focus on music. It was there that she discovered she also had a love for writing, a love that had been fostered reading books with her mother growing up.

Allison will now be involved in writing, filming and editing throughout Grammy week, following the performance of high school jazz ensembles as well as covering the actual Grammy Awards on the red carpet.

"I think the best part of being able to do this is seeing a glimpse into my possible future," Allison said, "and the possibility that I can make a real life around what I love."

Allison, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said the gospel has motivated her to go for her dreams and aspire to new things. It has also helped her to make decisions in moments where she was confused or conflicted.

Tuition to Grammy Camp costs thousands of dollars, so when Allison thought about auditioning it was a big decision for her. She had to talk to her mom and her leaders, and to her Heavenly Father. She said when she went to pray about it, she received an answer almost immediately. She had to fundraise some of the money, but now is able to have the opportunity to cover the Grammy Awards because of that decision.

"Without the prayer and the counsel from my leaders and my mom, I don't think I would be in the same place," Allison said.

Lisa Spice said LDS Church programs have helped her daughter to set goals and aim high.

"She really believes she has a purpose and a plan," Lisa said. "If God believes she can do it, she believes she can do it."

Lisa said at Grammy Camp Allison has interacted with head people from Rolling Stone and CNN, she's gone to college nights at Ivy League schools and has lots of big plans for her life. But, in the end, Lisa just wants her daughter to keep trying hard things whatever they may be.

"Who knows what she'll do with her life," Lisa said. "I just want to see her keep trying to go off that high dive."

Email: mgarrett@desnews.com

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