Bryonna Ross – Pennsylvania Nomination & Photography by Amy Hedges Photography Issue 54 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Bryonna is outgoing, kind, dedicated, and gives 100% in everything she does. She enjoys volunteering in her community and played a huge part in the successful toy drive that the AHP Teen Ambassador Team held to collect toys for The Jared Box Project. Bryonna is involved in numerous school activities, such as basketball, softball, National Honor Society, Varsity Club, and Student Council. Bryonna recently won District Champion for Nursing Assistant at SkillsUSA and advanced to State level. In her spare time, she loves trying new styles, make up looks, spending time with her friends, shopping and reading.
Photography by Amy Hedges Photography
Why is a 4.0 important to you and how hard is it to maintain? What type of study schedule do you keep? A 4.0 is important to me because it shows my hard work and dedication to not only my education right now, but my future. Maintaining a 4.0 GPA is very difficult. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication to your studies. I typically use a quizlet in order to study. I feel that it is a great and effective way to study.
Tell us about your basketball career. When did you get started and where are you with it now? What position do you play? I began playing basketball in elementary school. I fell in love with the sport after watching my older sister play. I am currently a Junior in high school and started varsity this year. I typically am a shooting guard but I can also play point guard. What is your team like and what is a favorite memory with them? My team was full of seniors this season. They were all a mix of personalities and made basketball pretty fun this year. Due to COVID, it was my first varsity season and they all made me feel welcome. My favorite memory with them was making our pre-game tik toks. When did you start playing softball and what do you love most about it? I started playing softball in Kindergarten. I love the rush of the sport and how you never know what's going to happen. Everything is so unexpected which keeps the game both exciting and interesting. I also love how our team feels like one big family. What is your greatest sports accomplishment? My greatest sports accomplishment is being moved to the varsity squads as soon as age eligible. This year in basketball I was the only junior varsity starter. I also had my first out of the park homerun at softball earlier this week, which I feel is a great accomplishment.
What do you do for your part time job and what have you learned about yourself while being a working girl? For my part time job, I work as a cashier at Giant Food Stores. I have learned that my friendly disposition helps me greatly with customer service. I also feel that I have learned some important adult life skills such as time management, the importance of saving money and dependability.
Photography by Amy Hedges Photography
How did you find Amy Hedges Photography and how did you choose your photographer? What was your experience like? What did you love most about it? I found out about Amy Hedges Photography through past AHP Teen Ambassadors. I applied to be a part of the Teen Ambassador team because I felt it was a great way to make friends with students from other school districts and also give back to the community. It allowed me to meet new people and make new connections. It also allowed me to be a part of numerous community service activities. I loved my experience as an AHP Teen Ambassador. I enjoyed the activities and photoshoots with my teammates and loved being a part of the Jared Box Project. Tell us more about your volunteer opportunities. I was an active participant in the Jared Box Project. We made boxes of toys and sent them to children in the hospital. I held toy drives as well as put several boxes together myself. Along with this, I have volunteered at the Fulton County Medical Center where I would deliver cards and sing Christmas carols to the residents. Along with this, I would volunteer at the church where I assisted in wrapping Christmas gifts for families in need. What service projects have you enjoyed the most & why? I enjoyed singing to the residents at the medical center. I have always loved the elderly and I enjoy going to visit them around Christmas. I also enjoyed being a member of the Jared Box Project. I feel that I made an impact and put a smile on the faces of children who were sick and in the hospital. What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? What many people do not know about me is that I have a significant hearing impairment in both ears. I wear hearing aids and also rely on lip reading. I have never considered my hearing loss a disability but instead have put in the extra work required to be successful both academically and personally. My hearing impairment is the reason I am enrolled in nursing class at my school, am working hard to assure acceptance at a prestigious college and plan to have a career as a physician assistant in the field of audiology where I can help others.
What do you wish people knew about talking to you with a hearing impairment that most people do not know or understand? I think it would be helpful if people knew how important it is to make eye contact and look directly at people when speaking. When relying on lip reading it can be very difficult to communicate with someone that isn’t looking at you when they speak. Also, speaking at your normal rate/speed is important when lip reading. Often people attempt to slow down their speech rate thinking that will make it easier for the person reading their lips, when it actually makes it harder.
What did you need to do to win District Champion for Nursing Assistant at SkillsUSA? What will you need to do at States and when is it? In order to win District Champion for Nursing Assistant at SkillsUSA I was judged on how well I completed vital signs and handwashing. I also had to take a 50 question test. I will attend states April 6, 7, and 8 in Hershey, PA. The skills that I will be tested on will not be released until we arrive.
Photography by Amy Hedges Photography
What is the hardest thing you have ever accomplished, and how did you do it? Last year I underwent 4 major ear surgeries in a 12 month period. These surgeries caused me to miss a significant amount of school. I think my biggest accomplishment was maintaining my 4.0 GPA, managing my sports and my job during this time. What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are today? If I was to give someone advice, I would tell them to never give up. When you really want something, you have to work for it. It may feel as if it's unachievable, however pushing through the hard times is what truly makes a person stand out.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans? In 5 years, I hope to be finishing up my college education and officially become a Physician Assistant. I would love to work at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in the ENT department in order to help children like me who have a hearing impairment. What is your favorite activity or pastime that was not in your nomination? Recently, for Christmas we got a puppy so I enjoy taking him for walks. I also enjoy going to the gym and working out in my free time.
Do you have a hidden talent? What is it? I do not have any hidden talents.
3 Things on your bucket list Skydiving Fly on a plane Go to Jamaica
Who do you find inspiring? I think that my mom is really inspiring. She always pushes me to be the best version of myself. I truly believe that if she did not push me, I would not be as successful as what I am today. My mom raised kids completely on her own. She supports us in everything that we do. My mom has always been my biggest inspiration and supporter and I am very thankful for her. What about you inspires others/why do you think you are inspiring? I think that I am inspiring because regardless of the hardships that I have been through, I’ve pushed through and never given up. I believe I lead by example. I work hard to make sure I am being my best self. I show others kindness and make sure that I am helpful to those around me. Is there anything else you would like to tell us? Thank-you very much for this amazing opportunity. I am very grateful for the nomination from Amy Hedges and have enjoyed my experience with Inspiring Teens. I am really blessed to have had this experience.
Look for Bryonna in issue 54 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!