Welcome to our fourth annual Women to Watch issue. We’re so excited about this year’s group of young ladies! From making a name in the creative writing world to racking up wins in pageants, gymnastics, and more, from running charities and earning scholarships to glowing with simple, everyday kindness, these gals are truly doing the incredible things we love to feature. We even have one of the few female Chinook pilots in the world! Let’s start off with our four cover girls. You’re going to be fascinated by their stories – and floored by their terrific advice
“If you have a dream, never give up until you make it a reality.” Isabelle Roberts ,Age 9
Not many nine-year-olds have almost 200,000 followers on their Instagram accounts – and nearly 50,000 YouTube followers. Isabelle Roberts, a third-grader at Sara Harp Minter, is an exception. Then again, Isabelle is an exception in a lot of ways. She’s already made a major name for herself as a gymnast (she’s @_gymnastisabelle_ on Insta and Isabelle Roberts on YouTube, by the way). Currently finishing her level 6 season, she’s been practicing gymnastics since age three, and she began winning competitions as a level 1 gymnast.
In her level 3 year, she won first place in every competition she participated in and, this past March, she placed first out of 322 in her age group at the state meet and became one of just 100 gymnasts to earn a spot in the regional competition in April.
Isabelle also participates in TOPs (the Talent Opportunity Program), which tests young women aged seven to ten on their physical abilities and provides additional gymnastics training. Gymnasts who pass at the state level move on to nationals, and those who pass nationals testing earn a spot at one of two camps, TOPs A or TOPs B, depending on their scores. Last year, Isabelle was one of just 46 gymnasts nationwide to win a spot at TOPs A camp, and she hopes to do it again this year.
“I really love camp,” she says. “We make tee shirts and dance. Last year, we trained with the National Team coaches. It’s so much fun!”
Isabelle says her favorite school subject is math, and she plans to go to college at UGA, compete at the college level, and then become a gymnastics coach. In addition to school, though, she trains five times a week at Georgia All-Stars Gymnastics in Woodstock.
“I just switched to this gym a few months ago,” she says, “and I really like it. At my last gym, I was the only one who’d done TOPs. At this gym, there are a group of us, and that’s really fun because we can talk about it and we know the things the other girls are working on really well. I’ve made friends there already.”
In addition to training and competing, Isabelle is already an ambassador/model for several brands including Plum Practicewear, Eurotard Dancewear, Foxy’s Leotard, Destira Leotards, and others.
“It’s a fun thing to do,” she says. “They send me products to try and I take pictures or do videos wearing their things and then tell them what I think.”
“She’s one amazing kid,” said her Women to Watch nominator, and her parents agree. What Isabelle’s done (and can do) is pretty impressive. But while she admits that she really loves the awards ceremony part of competition, she’s a pretty down-to-earth kid who likes spending time with friends and family when she can.
With everything else going on, Isabelle doesn’t have a whole lot of time for hobbies. But that’s pretty typical for someone who hopes, one day, to represent the US at the Olympics.
“2028 is my year,” she says. “I’ll be 18. I can’t wait!”