For Casa Grande Valley Newspapers/PinalCentral, it wasn’t much of a gamble to hire Grace Harrah as a reporter to cover the city of Maricopa.
She certainly has the name for the beat.
But the 2018 Indiana State University graduate has already made a mark in her young career with her health and fitness blog and being editor of her school paper. She interned for a magazine in Japan (she speaks fluent Japanese) and even covered the inauguration of President Donald Trump in 2017.
Now she is ready to tackle the rough and tumble world of Maricopa politics as well as community-based features that “will engage and allure” readers of the Maricopa Monitor and the Casa Grande Dispatch, both online and in print.
And for the record, she isn’t related to the namesake of Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino.
This is Grace’s first move West and extended stay in Arizona. Last winter she worked as an intern in Chicago, so we’ll see if she is ready for the Arizona summer.
“I have never been to Arizona or Maricopa before. The only time I was sort of here (but not really) was when I had a layover in Phoenix,” she told me in an email interview. “I remember stepping out of the plane and feeling the heat even though I was at the airport.”
Grace has a broad background in communications, as well as where she has been. She has experience in broadcasting and will be one of our anchors on our News in 90 online broadcast. She even worked two years as a radio DJ. She has traveled extensively, especially to Japan, where she has family.
But she is more than ready for reporting on the Maricopa community, where she has been on the job for two weeks.
“Even though Maricopa is a growing city, it’s very community based and I really enjoy getting to know the people and different parts of the city,” she said. “It’s a very welcoming town and I am excited for what’s to come in the future.”
Grace loves doing feature stories, especially those that involve people who are breaking down barriers. In Japan, she did a story focusing on women sushi chefs.
“Not a lot of people know that it’s uncustomary for a woman to become a sushi chef,” she said. “But I got to meet the women who are changing the stereotype and it was empowering to know that women are creating change in a very strict world such as the sushi industry.”
Grace loves writing about food and nutrition as well as fitness and movies. Personally she enjoys running, yoga, snowboarding and trying out new micro-breweries. She is excited about taking advantage of all the outdoor amenities Arizona has to offer.
“I actually really enjoy moving to a new place and I adapt well since I’ve done it so much,” she said. “I decided this would be a great opportunity for me to move to a new place and start my career.”
You can reach reporter Grace Harrah at firstname.lastname@example.org or 520-568-4198.
You can reach Andy Howell at email@example.com.