GWUOHS Student Profile – Stephanie Katherine (Grant) Yallourakis

Ashley H., Contributor

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Meet Stephanie Katherine Yallourakis! If you watch the ABC show The Goldbergs, you may know her better as Stephanie Katherine Grant, recurring on the show as Emmy Mirsky. Stephanie is a GWUOHS senior, and co-editor of The GW Yawp.

Stephanie started GWUOHS in 11th grade, desiring to push herself academically with the rigor of AP courses and “to have an open communication with my teachers about my work and how best to manage a demanding work schedule and curriculum.” The thing she loves best about GWUOHS, similar to the reasons she came to the school, is “the specified one-on-one teaching that I get with Class Connects and the online learning platform. I get the opportunity to learn amazing, detailed information in a focused and singular environment, something I could not get in a brick and mortar school.” Due to her recurring work on The Goldbergs, Stephanie is splitting her senior year in two, with this year being her first. Having skipped 6th grade, she’ll be graduating just on time. However, even with the split, her schedule is hectic, between school, filming, auditions, coaching, and more.

Since Stephanie’s character is a recurring on the show, she doesn’t have to work every week. This is good, because it takes an entire workweek from Monday to Friday to film a single episode, and the show films August through March for one season. On the weekdays when she’s not working, she spends her mornings doing schoolwork and her afternoons auditioning or going to coaching lessons. “There’s always a bit of unpredictability because I don’t always know which days I am working or when I will get an audition! Three nights a week, I attend different acting classes to keep my ‘instrument’ sharp. Schooling is definitely hard to stay on top of especially with APs, but any free moment I get during the week, I spend on studying and doing assignments! I use the weekends and any kind of school day off or break to catch up. I will be honest, some weeks, I am riding the final deadlines! The only thing that really keeps me grounded is just staying focused and setting reachable goals. I learned early on in GWUOHS that if I set a goal that is unattainable, I get frustrated and even more behind. I try to pace myself now instead of having a goal to be two weeks ahead in all my classes! That was my goal when I first started, but that has greatly changed. My motto most days is just to take things one assignment at a time!” Stephanie is no stranger to the grindstone, a concept she became familiar with at a young age.

She got her start in the performing arts when she was a toddler. Growing up in a small town in East Tennessee, Stephanie was always singing. At two, she began dancing ballet, and she still finds it “really freeing and creative”. At four, she took up the cello, and “although I am not a virtuoso, I find it extremely cathartic and very inspiring to play such a powerful instrument.” Seven-year-old Stephanie then attended a seminar hosted by a vocal coach to country music stars. While she wasn’t into singing yet, the coach asked her to come to the coach’s Nashville studio the very next week. “For two years my mom drove me 4 hours to Nashville to take lessons with this coach.” Two years later, the coach suggested she go to LA for a few months, since Nashville isn’t a friendly town for young performers. “That Memorial Day weekend, I landed at LAX with 13 suitcases!” That move with her mother, brother, and thirteen suitcases 7 years ago was meant to be temporary, “ever since, things have (thankfully) just kept moving forward. I am not going to lie, it has been a rough road and I am far from being an A-List actor, but every day is a battle to keep moving forward and not get hung up on rejections in the past. I am really grateful for the things that I have achieved because I know that lots of actors have come to LA and have gotten no results!” As she continues working, hopefully she will continue to achieve results through hard work and dedication.

In her free time, of which she gets precious little, Stephanie loves to read. She’s currently reading Gone With The Wind, five chapters in and really enjoying it.

Looking towards the future, given her background in performing arts and her love of reading, Stephanie says, “I definitely want to attend a liberal arts based university for college! I am looking at Middlebury, Brown, and Princeton to study English Lit.”

A last fun fact about Stephanie is that she is a Pirates of the Caribbean fan, having watched the entire series “numerous times”, with her favorite being At World’s End.

That’s all for this month’s Student Profile! Tune in next month for the last profile of the year – who knows, you might make a new friend.

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GWUOHS Student Profile – Stephanie Katherine (Grant) Yallourakis