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.
Frankie Henson of St. Charles Pictured Top Right St. Charles East High School student, Frankie Henson is achieving great things in the arts. This year, being her eighth and final year of dance at Dance Dynamics, she won first place for her solo at the final regional competition and grabbed the title, Miss Senior Inferno Dancer, an award that required competing with an audition and an interview. She will be taking this dance now to the national competition.
“Dance has taught me that no matter the opinions of the judges, what really matters is finding self-pride in giving it my all,” says Frankie. “The lesson has been very applicable to other aspects of my life – no matter if others appreciate my work or not, what matters is the passion I feel for the work itself.”
Dance, however, isn’t her only passion. Frankie is also the lead singer for a band, plays guitar, takes photographs and helps organize her school’s variety show. If you thought that wouldn’t leave her much time for academics, you would be wrong, as she won both Illinois State Scholar and National Merit Scholar Commemorate awards for her academic scores. She is well aware that none of this could be made possible without the support of her parents and instructors and is incredibly grateful for all of these opportunities. –Mindy Kyle
Brianna Vestal of Sugar Grove Pictured Top Left
Brianna Vestal’s passion is definitely cheer. She has dedicated her life to the physical and mental discipline that is required, often sacrificing many of the common teen outings and experiences some of her other friends participate in. Being a part of her All Star Cheer Team (Thunder) takes an extreme amount of commitment and time, but it was all worth it when this year, the team competed and took top place at events around the country to earn them a bid to the USASF Cheerleading World Championship held at the ESPN Wilde World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney Resort. The result? Placing 6th out of 49 teams in the world in their division (Small Coed 5)!“This accomplishment has taught me that nothing is handed to you,” says Brianna. “You have to work hard for it through all the pain, tears, blood and sweat.” Through the process, Brianna ended up in and out of the doctor’s office for injuries, and it inspired her to want to learn more about how to help athletes with preventative measures. “I want to become a physical therapist or an athletic trainer,” she says. “My dream is to go around the world and help people in need of physical therapy.” And of course, she is looking forward to cheering at whatever college she attends. –Mindy Kyle