How old are you?

I am 17 years old and finishing my junior year.

What is the funniest thing that happened to you recently? 

During cross country, the team was climbing a fence, don’t as me why, and my shorts got caught on the fence without me knowing. I tried to keep going over, but with the shorts caught I obviously couldn’t. I ended up hanging on the fence with ripped shorts.

Oh my gosh. That is too funny!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you choose to go and why?

If I could travel to anywhere I would go to the Caribbean because it’s warm year-round and the water is beautiful. Or I would travel every four years to where the summer Olympics are being held.

That sounds fabulous. It would be awesome to be able to see the Olympics live.

You have found a suitcase containing $1 million. The authorities say it’s yours to keep. What do you do with it?

If I had that much money I would donate a lot to the church and other organizations and put the rest into a college fund.

That’s a great plan. 

Tell me something about a parent or relative that you find awesome and you hope to accomplish someday?

My younger brother has Down Syndrome. He is able to forgive and forget instantly and he does not hold grudges. This would be an amazing trait for anyone and everyone to have.

Definitely a great trait to have.

What are you proudest of?

One of my greatest accomplishments so far has been to make it to the state competition in three different sports: cross country, swimming and track. I am one of only two Norwell athletes to ever do that. The other person to do it did it about 25 years ago.

Wow! That is an incredible accomplishment.

What do you wish you knew how to do that you can’t do right now?

I wish that I was able to be completely fluid in sign language because I would be able to communicate with people who do not have language.

That would be a great skill to have.

Do you own a pet? Tell me about him/her. What kind of pet? What is his name? 

We have one dog named Macy. She is 11 and I am not sure how she got her name. We have three cats: Piper, who is a brat but named after Piper Middleton; Charlie, named after Charlie Cardinal (my sister goes to Ball State); and a cat we just call Black Cat because he is black.

Very creative names and Black Cat is just too funny.

Can you tell me a joke?

I don’t think I am a super funny person. Most of the jokes I hear are from the Geico commercials and are not worth repeating.

I thought that was funny. Almost a joke in itself.

What’s your favorite class in school and why?

My favorite class would be my education class. I got to spend four days a week in the Special Ed classroom at Bluffton Elementary. I love working with kids who have special needs.

I think that is wonderful.

Tell me more about school sports, music or other activities?

I am a three-year letter winner in cross country, swimming and track. I also am involved in Champions Together. This program allows special needs kids to participate in sports and is sanctioned by the IHSAA. I am also a member of the National Honor Society and Executive Board of Riley Dance Marathon at Norwell.

You are really busy. That is amazing.

How about outside of school activities?

I am a member of Ossian United Methodist Church, where I help teach Sunday school and volunteer at our dinners, as well as the Northern Wells Food Pantry. I am part of a running club called Indiana Blast. I also work part-time with K&M Asphalt.

Wow. Is there anything you don’t do? You are so involved and that is great.

What is your favorite game to play and why?

I am a very competitive person and like to play cards and board games with my family. I don’t have one favorite game; I just enjoy playing them all.

Who is one of your friends that makes you laugh all the time?

Probably my friend that makes me laugh the most is Braden. It is hard to describe why he is so funny. He always adds comments that no one else would think to say. He is always doing something to make others laugh.

Who is your most academically inclined friend?

Probably Isaac. He studies a lot. He enjoys documentary movies so he can learn more about someone or something. He also knows so many different facts about everything.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years and how will you get there?

In 10 years from now I hope to be teaching in a special ed classroom. Maybe I will be engaged.

You have so much to be proud of. I can tell you will be very successful and reach your goals.

Teen Talk is a service supported by Southern Wells Schools, Northern Wells Schools, and Bluffton Harrison Schools to promote dialogue and community among area high school students.

Interviewer: Amy Serafini News-Banner, Bluffton, Ind.