THESE LOCAL TEENS ARE AWESOME – EACH SO TALENTED IN THEIR OWN WAY
These days there are so many options and opportunities in the schools and the community for teens to explore. Its not hard to find an outlet for whatever passion drives them, and they are accomplishing big successes! We found a few of these teens from our neighborhood and asked them to talk to us about all their amazing achievements.
Amanda Brennan of Naperville Top Left Amanda Brennan, a Senior at Metea Valley High School in Naperville, has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten. Over the summer of 2016, she accomplished her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor in Scouting. For her Gold Award project, she wanted to find a way to share her love of music with children in the area that may not have the chance to be exposed. She proposed the idea of a “Summer Music Camp” to the directors at Bridge Communities, an organization which provides transitional housing and other services for homeless families in DuPage County, and they loved the idea.
“I was connected with elementary music teacher, Shelly May Hutchison, who helped me write lesson plans and loan instruments for the camp,” says Amanda. In July, for four Saturday mornings, she helped fifteen Bridge Communities children experience the joy of music. At the conclusion of the camp, Amanda rented a space and encouraged them to create a recital. “Music helped them take their minds off the stress of homelessness,” says Amanda. “I was thrilled to give this gift to the kids.”
Amanda is a Tri-M Music Honors Society member and plays euphonium with Metea’s Wind Symphony, trombone with the Pep Band, and has been a member of the Marching Mustangs for four years and Color Guard Captain for three. Music fills her life, but she also takes a break from it to be Editor-in-Chief of Metea’s Yearbook. –Mindy Kyle
Jack Romero of Naperville Top Middle A musician at heart, Jack Romero, a sophomore at Benet Academy, has thrown his passion and dedication full throttle into the music world as a vocalist. He recently was inducted into the School of Rock Allstars. Allstars is the highest level of achievement for a School of Rock student and represents less than the top 1% of the students worldwide.
Jack’s Band, Jack Romero & the Genies auditioned and were accepted to play at the House of Blues for their Bringing Down the House Live Showcase. This is a program for talented musicians, ages 13-19, to connect with industry insiders through interactive workshop sessions and showcase talent on legendary stages nationwide. Up to eight all-teen bands are selected to participate in each city. Including Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New Orleans.
“It was important that I worked hard and had the drive to succeed,” says Jack. “The most important thing I have learned, though, is to never give up!” After auditioning for the Chicago Academy for the Arts, he was accepted and now will be completing his junior and senior year of high school at CAA. He released his first extended play record (EP) last fall with hopes of having his next one released this summer. There is no doubt that he is on the road to follow his dreams. –Mindy Kyle
Trevor Carter of Glen Ellyn Pictured Bottom Middle It is spring, and many high school juniors are starting to receive their ACT test results for college applications. Trevor Carter, a Junior at Glenbard South High School was one of those students logging in online to view his score. Triumphantly, he found he had scored a perfect 36! He knew all his hard work had paid off. “Achieving a perfect score was not an overnight success, but rather years of staying focused,” says Trevor. “No goal is unreachable. There is a lot of support out there if you take advantage of it.”
Trevor uses his strong work ethic and dedication to excel in many fields. He is a member of the Glenbard South Math Team, qualifying for ICTM Math State as a Freshman, Sophomore and Junior. He is a club swimmer (Wheaton Swim Club) and recently achieved three top eight finishes at the Illinois Swimming - Senior State Championship. He is currently ranked 12th in Illinois. As a change of pace, Trevor has a passion for music and has studied the piano for the last nine years. With his musical talent, he is able to volunteer and help out with select worship services at his church.
Future plans for Trevor? “My journey doesn’t end here. I will take my work ethic into college to pursue a degree in a Medical or Engineering field.” –Mindy Kyle
Zac Lendino of Naperville Pictured Top Right
Paid summer internship doing something you love? Yes, they really do still exist. Just ask Neuqua Valley High School 2015 graduate, Zac Lendino. He is currently attending the University of Missouri (Mizzou) as a junior, studying Parks, Recreation, and Sport with an emphasis in Sport Management. He is looking forward to strengthening his managerial skills with this awesome opportunity.
“I approached the opportunity for the Tournament Coordinator Internship with the IJGA on a common job search engine as I was browsing for a summer internship,” Zac says. “The application process started with applying for the position online, followed by a phone interview, and then the job was offered a few weeks later.” As a Tournament Coordinator, his internship responsibilities with the IJGA will include organizing and managing junior tournaments throughout the state of Illinois, including a few tournaments in other surrounding states.
Zac has always loved golf, and has been playing since he was 10 years old at junior camps at Naperbrook Golf Course. In 2012, he began working at the Bolingbrook Golf Club as a Range Attendant maintaining the driving range by picking up the balls, cleaning them, and restocking the shelves. When he came to Mizzou, he picked up a job at Columbia Parks & Recreation and currently works at their two courses, L.A. Nickell Golf Course and Lake of the Woods Golf Course, during the academic school year.
Zac encourages other students to check online postings for internships. This is his second! He worked as a Chicago Cub’s Security Services Ambassador throughout the 2017 season. His responsibilities included checking bags at the entrance and monitoring different areas throughout the stadium to ensure the safety and security of all the fans at Wrigley Field on Cubs game-days and during concerts.
He hopes to one day be working in the Front Office of a Major League Baseball team. –Kristen Kucharski