Encouraging Young Journalists to Reach Their Dreams.

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Grace Brulotte is a 12-year-old reporter with several stories already under her belt and when the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games roll around, she hopes to be reporting on the action.

"I really like to interview people and hear their stories," explained Grace. "I really think the stories are inspiring and I like to share them with others."

Grace has a congenital disorder that limits mobility in her joints and has her in a wheelchair. She participates in the Virtual Voices Village program, which provides students with disabilities with equipment and resources to publish stories, artwork and multi-media projects online at vvvillage.org.

"The best thing about Virtual Voices was that it broadened Grace's view of the world, her experiences and her friendship base," explained Grace's mother, Janice. "It forced her to get outside her comfort zone and meet new people."

It was through Virtual Voices Village program that Grace attended the 2008 B.C. Winter Games to report on the action. Armed with a camera and recorder mounted to her wheelchair, and a keyboard to record her experiences, Grace reported on a wheelchair basketball game and posted her video story online.

"I enjoyed reporting on the B.C. Winter Games in Cranbrook, and I want to keep on being a journalist," said Grace. "And reporting on the Olympics would be very cool because I like seeing people in action."

Already a budding piano-player, artist and singer, Grace now looks forward to mastering her skills as a reporter, so she can continue sharing stories leading up to 2010 and beyond.

Virtual Voices Village helps students with disabilities develop writing and journalism skills by interviewing athletes and other role models. Online at vvvillage.org, the students contribute articles, stories and other creative work on a wide variety of topics. The program is in partnership with the Province of British Columbia, SET-BC and 3M.