Briana DeStefano - Arizona Interview by Claire Plath Nomination by Jen DeStefano Image by Laura Reynoso Photography Issue 27 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
How have you managed a 3.89 GPA on the National Junior Honor Society, while also dedicating your time to skiing, volunteering, and other extracurricular activities? Whenever I struggle with something, I will always take the time to ask a teacher and make sure I understand what I am missing. If I don’t have time due to skiing and other activities, then I will ask my parents or other friends. I put in the extra time and seek help because it is important.
Tell me about GiGi’s Playhouse and the significance it plays in your life? GiGi’s Playhouse is a nonprofit organization that helps people with Down Syndrome. They have open free time that gets all the kids together to meet and become friends. They have tutors that help with academic learning and other activities such as cooking classes. In my life, GiGi’s plays a big role because my aunt has Down Syndrome. I make time to volunteer and play with kids and teach them something new. Every new thing they learn, or every new volunteer can make a big difference in their lives.
As an entrepreneur, what are some of the products you have made, and can you tell me about the new product line you are launching? The product I am going to be launching is designed to help kids in need learn the alphabet with sound, letter recognition, and it will also help then to learn to type which will help them to learn to read. The product is a keyboard skin that lays over keyboards. On the skin I have painted a picture of an object or food that starts with that letter. This will make learning more motivating for them to do it because they will want to learn when it’s fun and easier to identify letters and sounds.
How has your dedication and compassion towards others helped shape who you are, and what do you love most about helping those in need? Every person is important and deserves the best opportunities life can provide. I will always care and do what I can to help make a difference. The most important and my favorite part of helping those in need, is making them happy and seeing them cheerful and smile when I teach them or play with them. I love seeing them learn something new and the joy they get from it.
How do you continue to be a role model to others in your daily? I lead by example. I will be polite and respectful in every place I go and keep a smile a smile on my face to be a good role model to younger kids.
Other info: volleyball plays a huge part in my life too because it trains me on the off season for skiing. It helps me with hand-eye coordination and gives me leg strength. I had no experience with volleyball my first year and I had been accepted on the higher-level team and had won the MVAL championships.
Briana will be featured in Issue 27 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!