Sara Elu-Veeninga - California Interview by Clara Soler Nomination by Jennifer Elu Photography by Alicia Parks Photography Issue 29 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Sara Elu-Veeninga has risen above a variety of personal challenges and is now excelling in school and as a top 4-H poultry competitor after just 2 short years. Sara was inspired when she connected with a sickly hen 3 years ago - she made a connection and found her passion, which has led to Sara building her own flock, excelling at poultry husbandry, and sharing her knowledge to positively promote the poultry industry. Sara's a State Gold Medal winner with her Oral Presentation “What’s Everybody Clucking About” and was awarded the 2019 Sonoma County Fair Poultry Exhibitor of the Year.
Photography by Alicia Parks Photography
What draws you to showing poultry? What draws me into showing poultry is learning more about my specific breeds of chickens and perfecting my showmanship knowledge and skills. What have you gotten out of your 4-H experience? What I've gotten out of my 4-H experience is in addition to gaining more knowledge about poultry, I have gained leadership and public speaking skills.
Photography by Alicia Parks Photography
Could you talk about any achievements/ awards you’ve gotten? I have received Gold at County, Area, and State Presentation Day competitions, 2x First place Senior team poultry judging, Best First Year Poultry Project, First Place Avian Bowl, First Place Presentation at Sonoma County Fair and Sonoma County Poultry Exhibitor of the Year.
How have your efforts in public speaking payed off? My efforts in public speaking have really paid off in terms of my confidence levels skyrocketing. I am no longer nervous speaking in front of crowds. I have a large amount of confidence speaking about a topic I am passionate about or something I have a vast amount of knowledge in.
Photography by Jennifer Elu
How has perseverance helped you become who you are today? “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” Even when I didn’t win a first-place ribbon during my first year of showmanship, it inspired me to keep trying and keep learning to hopefully work my way up to earning a higher title.
Sara will be featured in issue 29 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!
Faith Silva – New Mexico Interview by Claire Plath Nomination and Photography by Flores Studios Issue 24 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Faith Silva is one of the State of New Mexico's top Basketball stars. Her accolades include NM Offensive Player of the Year, NM 5A Player of the Year, NMPrep HOF, Leading scorer for NM North/South All Stars 2019. She will attend AZ Western College in the fall to continue her Basketball Career.
When did you first start playing basketball and how has it impacted your daily life? I started playing basketball consistently when I was in 7th grade. I instantly fell in love with the game and knew that it was something I wanted to continue doing.
Basketball has become my outlet. I play basketball every single day, working on new skills.
What awards have you won from being one of New Mexico's top basketball stars? I have won 5A district player of the year, 5A All-district, NM Player of the Year, NM Senior of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year, and broke 4 records in my local high school- most 3 pointers in a game, most points in a single game, most 3 pointers in a season, and most 3 pointers in a career.
What do you find most exciting about attending AZ Western College in this fall? The opportunity to play college basketball is really exciting. I am excited to get to play with the other girls, and to be able to play at the next level.
Through your entire basketball journey, what has been your most memorable moment? The most memorable memory for me so far is definitely when we went to state and got to play at UNM “The Pit.”
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are today? Anything is possible. You can achieve anything you set your mind to and dedicate yourself to.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans for the future? Probably playing basketball! I also plan on getting a degree in Psychology, so who knows. Anything is possible!
What about you inspires others/why do you think you are inspiring? My family and coach have inspired me to always do my best. I hope I inspire others by my hard work and determination.
Tell us about your family and what you love doing most with them. I have a younger brother (16) and a younger sister (12). My parents and family have been a huge part of my support system. I love spending time with them and bowling.
Who do you find inspiring? Diana Taurasi. She is amazing, and I enjoy watching her play.
Do you have a hidden talent? What is it? I actually used to be a hip-hop dancer for a local dance studio, Showtime Studio. We were National Champions for a few years and even won a Worlds Championship.
3 Things on your bucket list: play college basketball, travel as much as I can, and play basketball with Diana Taurasi.
Anything else you’d like to tell us? I am very grateful for this opportunity. I want to thank everyone that has supported me and helped me get to where I am in my career.
Faith will be featured in Issue 24 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!