Brileigh Cates – Missouri Interview by Claire Plath Nomination and Photography by Luna Photography Issue 22 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination:Brileigh Cates is a triple-jumper and a 400 M sprinter who has wanted to be a missionary and help others since she was six-years-old. She has top class rank/GPA and still finds time for Varsity Track, Academic Team, Pom Squad, Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and Studio Jazz. She has recently been elected as Vice-President of the Sho-Me Band and was chosen to be the Alto Saxophone section leader. She also returns to her elementary school to help with Open House and choreographing for their GLEE Club. Brileigh is the hardest working teen you will meet.
What led you to want to become a missionary?
When I was five, I knew of the concept of sinning, but I did not know the reason of why we sinned. Between the ages five and six, I learned how everyone sinned, and has come short of God’s glory. When I was little, I knew that there were places in the world that were not as privileged as I was. I knew that some people would never even hear of God’s greatness and love. I decided I wanted to witness to these people, so they would get the chance to be redeemed under God.
How have you managed to rank the top GPA in your class while also being involved in many extracurricular activities?
First off, I always take notes in class. I right down key details of that day. Second off, I set times to study thoroughly before my tests. I have set standards on myself to have no missing assignments or any grades lower than an 90%. Overall, I make sure to use my time wisely, so I do not use any other distractions, such as a phone, during these time periods.
Tell me a little bit about the GLEE club and Open House you help out with at your old elementary school.
GLEE Club is basically what it sounds like, it is a club that involves singing and dancing. I was asked to make a sweet and simple dance routine for the third graders in the Glee Club. This dance routine was to “This Is Me” by Keala Settle and The Greatest Showman Ensemble. Open House is a night when all of the parents and students meet with their new teacher for the new school year. Normally, I would help parents and students find their teachers and introduce them to each other.
What are some goals you have set for yourself and how have you been able to achieve them?
In the 6th grade, I decided I wanted to be on the high school dance team (Pom Squad). I knew that one of my mom’s co-workers had a daughter on the Pom Squad, so, I asked Kassi if she would work with me on some basic required skills. She did, and now I’ve earned my first varsity letter.
In the 5th grade, I received a “Basic” on the state exam for English Language Arts. Then, during 6th grade, something just clicked. School started to make sense and I started to get all A’s. That year, I made “Advanced” in ELA. I told myself that I needed to keep up these good grades and set a goal to continue to make all A’s. Now, my goal is set on being valedictorian for the class of 2022.
Image by Brileigh Cates
What has been your favorite memory of being a part of the marching band?
My favorite memory probably was when a JROTC student was running next to our practice marching band field and he then accidentally ran into one of the drum major’s podiums, and she fell off.
Can you elaborate more on all of the activities you are involved with in your community?
I have volunteered at our local Mark Twain Museum. This is a museum dedicated to the history of Poplar Bluff, MO and Butler County. I have helped sort through donations. I have given personal tours (my favorite by far).
I volunteer at The Walk to End Alzheimer's and the UCAN Walk. I have made cotton candy, face painted, and been a designated cheerleader throughout the walk.
Brileigh will be featured in Issue 22 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!!