Keeshawn Bell - California Interview by Zoe D’Angelo Photography and Nomination by Shawn Habermehl Photography Featured in Issue 16 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Keeshawn has just earned a full ride scholarship to University of Wilmington in Delaware in Lacrosse. He holds a 4.0 GPA and works a job at Sour Dough and Co plus plays Lacrosse all year long. As a young boy he spent hours perfecting his game and it has all paid off. Not only is he smart and athletic but he is the kindest young man around.
How did you become interested in Lacrosse? My friend Hudson introduced me to the sport in 8th grade. And I wanted to try something I’ve never heard of before. After my first year playing, I fell in love.
What thoughts do you have while on the lacrosse field? On the lacrosse field I don’t have many thoughts going through my head. When I first started playing every pass or shot was nerve racking, but now it’s second nature. That’s a reason why I love playing, because you just think about the smartest pass or shot to take rather than how to do it.
Why do you think you are so inspiring? I think I’m inspiring because I grew up living in a trailer in the backyard of my great grandparents’ house. Then I moved into my grandparents’ house where me and my mom lived for about 5 years. Where we lived, I couldn’t go outside alone or walk down the street to a friend’s house. But what I think is inspiring is that when I moved to Roseville and had the ability to go out on my own and leave the house, I took that as an opportunity to better myself. Every day after school I would practice until it got dark. Even through injuries or surgery I still was out practicing. I had set a goal when I started playing and I have achieved my goal of getting a scholarship for lacrosse. In my mind I came from having very little to having the whole world ahead of me.
If a young boy or girl saw you, and wanted to be just like you, what advice would you give them? I used to watch videos on how to be successful and the one that stuck with me the most was when I guy said that “Once you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.“ So take advantage of every opportunity and put in the work and one day it will pay off. What are you plans for after college? I plan on entering local law enforcement or the military. Then eventually one day be an agent in the FBI.
Keeshawn was featured in Issue 16 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!
Giavonna Sabatini Interview by Sierra Zaccagnino Nomination by Gabriella Sabatini Pennsylvania Issue 15
The Nomination: Giavonna Sabatini is inspiring because of all the activities she does. She plays lacrosse, diving, and track all in one season. She doesn’t get home until late and she still does all her honors homework. Also, she has time for volunteering at many different places and tutors kindergarteners too! With all this, she manages to keep a job on the weekends at CVS.
What sports do you play and how did you become interested in playing so many? I play many sports, but my main sports are Track, Lacrosse, and Diving. I’ve been interested in running since elementary school and have gone to junior Olympics. Lacrosse I started in middle school and I’m currently on a club team named T3! Diving I got into recently and I got into because of my injury. Freshman year I was in a snowboarding accident and I had a concussion and needed knee surgery to reconstruct my knee because I tore so many things. I couldn’t do sports for a year, so I was a manager for the swim team, and the coach convinced to come out for the team. I’m so glad he did.
How do you manage playing multiple sports in one season? It was hard to manage at first, but I have a half hour to an hour break in between track and diving so it’s a nice break. Those are every day during the week then I usually have invitationals for track once a month on Saturday. Lacrosse is usually on Sundays. When two meets clash, I talk to my coaches and then decide which one is more crucial. How do you balance all your extra-curricular and athletic activities with your school work? It’s a little bit of a process. You have to have a calendar with ALL of your events. Then you see how long you’ll be at each place. For mandatory informational meetings, I usually take my science because it doesn't require as much attention as math or English would. In between sports practice I do math, and on my ride home I do English.
What have you learned about yourself through athletics? I learned how much I could trust myself. After my injury, I realized how much of my life I dedicated to sports and it left me feeling very upset without any physical activity. Even though I wanted to push through the injury, I knew I had to trust myself with how much was too much. It helped me make so many of my best friends and keep me happy. Whenever I’m feeling a bad emotion, I get to the start line or board, and all my emotions melt away and I’m left feeling excited.
Tell me about some of the volunteer work you have done. I do tons of work such as volunteering at the Langhorne rehabilitation center where I play games with Joanne Hanson. I’ve volunteered extensively at the Churchville nature center giving tours of the butterfly house. One of my favorites is when I went to Sleepy Hallow and I supervised Urban Promise Trenton kids and donated gloves, hats, jacket, and baked cookies!! Next month, I am caroling at another Rehabilitation center. Furthermore, I always volunteer my Wednesdays at Wrightstown Elementary School for the kindergarten class I help tutor!
What are your plans after high school? In the future, I hope to get into the Air Force Academy and study Biomedical Engineering! If not, I’d love any military academy or military college!
Giavonna was featured in Issue 15 of Inspiring Teens Magazine.