Dear Ann Shoket

If you’re not familiar with Ann Shoket, you've clearly never read an issue of Seventeen Magazine in middle school. Before the age of snapchat stories, you stood in line at the grocery store begging your mom for the latest issue until she finally caved in and bought it for you. And if she didn’t, you would quickly read it while she put food on the belt to be checked out. Inside the glossy pages, your mind was opened up to everything your pre-teen heart could desire- the latest hair trends, having your first kiss, and yes, Ann.

Ann was who I wanted to be, and quite frankly still do. So much so that in third grade during my schools magazine drive, I had my dad buy me a subscription to the magazine until I was Seventeen. In the eight years following, I would keep every single issue in a stack in my closet and re-read them until I had scrutinized every detail. Including how to someday be editor-in-chief.

As I grew older, and my monthly delivery of the magazine ended, I found myself reaching for more mature publications like Glamour and Cosmopolitan. However, my love for Seventeen and Ann followed me through my college years, and past her position as editor at the magazine. When I graduated high school in 2017, coincidentally, Ann released her book, The Big Life. Written on the first few pages was a message I swear she wrote directly to me: “You always knew you’d do big things... How do I know? Because I was there fanning the flames of that first spark of inspiration... as editor-in-chief of Seventeen for the better part of the decade, I made it my mission.”

So, Dearest Ann, thank you for inspiring me to become me. Thank you for allowing me to never question what I wanted to be when I grew up, or what I wanted to major in in college. If I had never read Seventeen when you were editor, I never would have realized this spark inside of me to pursue this path in my life and truly find my calling from the time I was just nine years old.

You Can Buy Ann’s Book “The Big Life” at Amazon.com here: https://www.amazon.com/Big-Life-Embrace-Monumental-Relationship/dp/1623368243

And listen to her feature on “Coffee Break w/NYWICI” here: https://soundcloud.com/coffee-break-nywici/ann-shoket-author-of-the-big-life-and-former-editor-in-chief-seventeen