Caleb Slavens – Kentucky Interview by Inspiring Teens Nomination by Chad Slavens Photography by Kaymag Photography Issue 40 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Caleb Slavens has taken Martial Arts since the age of 6. Received a Blackbelt at the age of 13, while maintaining a perfect GPA, and being the top of his graduating class. The past 4 years he has spent his time sharing what he has learned through teaching youth classes in martial arts. He was selected and attended the 2020 Kentucky Governor Scholar Program.
Tell us about your martial arts career. When and why did you get started and where are you now with it? I began martial arts 11 years ago. It has been my entire life, it is the reason I am who I am. I have taken this more seriously than anything else. When I was eight years old I began competing and have continued to do it throughout my career. However, I wouldn’t be here without my family. They are the reason I began, I remember seeing my cousin at a demonstration at a local event and I felt like I was in a trance and since then I have been in love with martial arts. Today I still have the same love as I did when I was a child. I still attend tournaments and push myself to do better every competition.
What is a favorite memory from martial arts? Ever since I began martial arts there have been many incredible experiences, but I believe that achieving my black belt was my greatest accomplishment. Receiving my belt gave the greatest feeling and made me feel like I was on top of the world. It showed me that everything that I had been doing had paid off.
When & why did you start teaching and what do you hope to most instill upon your students? I began teaching as soon as I got my black belt in 2016. I initially began teaching after I got my black belt, this was because I wanted to pass my knowledge onto other students. As I continue to teach, I hope to not only pass on the art itself but the values that come with it. I want to teach my students about respect and discipline.
Tell us more about your love of music. Where do you play and what does it mean to you? My love for saxophone and music comes from my dad. He played saxophone in high school and I followed him, joining the band in my sixth-grade year. I continued to be in the band up until my junior year. I had to choose between my love for music and the possibility of getting ahead in college classes, and I chose the college classes. However, I still play saxophone in my free time and I still enjoy it. Music allows me to express myself by playing whatever type of song I want. I can show my emotion not through my words, but through the sounds that come out of my instrument.
What does it mean to be in the Kentucky Governor Scholar Program? How were you picked for this, what does it entail on your end and what are your goals with it? Being a governor scholar means that you have proved yourself that you can multitask and adjust to a crazy schedule. It shows that you can successfully prosper in school and juggle many activities in your day to day life. The application process is intense and competitive, you must do essays and short responses of each activity, service, and awards. Then after becoming you attend a week at a college campus where you can learn about college life and how these schools work. Governor scholars should keep their values in check and live your life to the best of your ability.
Look for Caleb in issue 40 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!