Faith Miller - Nebraska Nomination & Photography by Megan Andersen Photography Issue 48 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Faith is a selfless and driven individual. She is a National Honor Society member, local FFA chapter president, cheerleader, and basketball player. Her passions lie with helping animals and educating children. She plans to pursue a degree in Veterinary Science after high school. She has participated in 4-H since she was eight and is hosting a livestock workshop for the local youth within the next two weeks. Faith volunteers each summer as a counselor at both Rodeo Bible Camp and Vacation Bible School. She lifeguards in the summer and loves teaching swimming lessons.
Photography by Megan Andersen Photography
How did you get into rodeoing? My dad grew up rodeoing, and he calf roped all through high school and college, so I was born into it. I started riding as soon as I left the hospital from being born!
What do you love most about it? I love everything about rodeo! I love being able to work with my horses as a team and to be able to hang out with friends behind the roping boxes!
What is a favorite memory and a favorite accomplishment in it? I have too many favorite memories to choose one, from all the road trips with my family to inside jokes before I nod my head in the box. One of my favorite accomplishments is that when I moved to Nebraska, I had to leave my horses in Arizona for a couple years. So when I finally got them up here, I went to a rodeo and ended up placing second in breakaway after not riding for a long time!
Photography by Megan Andersen Photography
What should we definitely know about you? It's my dream to open the first equine hospital in Nebraska, and run a non profit equine therapy organization! 6 years ago, I was told that wouldn't happen. I grew up in Arizona around horses and rodeo, and have always wanted to become an equine veterinarian. At 10, I was diagnosed with ocular albinism, and then I was told that I was going blind. I remember asking the doctor if I could ever ride my horses again, and he said no. Because of this, I want to help other kids with vision impairments to have no limitations, especially with horses!
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? I'm still emotional about this. Going from being told I was going blind to where I am now is crazy! It took 2 years to regain my lost vision, and I was told I will never have perfect vision. BUT, I am still able to be "normal" by driving, rodeoing, and more! I am the president of our local FFA chapter and 4H club, things I would have never imagined myself doing a few years ago. I still can't believe that I went from having to learn how to read braille and walk with a cane to roping calves daily!
What did you need to do to regain your lost vision? Well, the doctors that I went to said to give my eyes 15 months to catch up to my body. Apparently, my body grew too fast for my eyes to keep up with, so they fell behind, causing my vision to deteriorate!
Photography by Megan Andersen Photography
What was your photoshoot experience like with Megan Andersen Photography and what did you love most about the experience? It was filled with so much fun and in a positive environment! It was such a great experience, and I had the best time! I loved absolutely everything about our shoot!! What are your roles & responsibility as president of your local FFA Chapter and 4H club? As the president of our FFA and 4H Chapter, I lead meetings and allow other members to help come up with ideas to advertise the organizations. I also help put together activities for our groups to participate in and help get kids ready for any competitions that we have coming up!
How would you describe your leadership style? I’m a collaborative leader because I encourage others to participate in activities, and I allow others to voice their opinions on any subject. I am a communicator and am not afraid to stand up for anyone who may need it and myself!
Photography by Tami Miller
What do you do when volunteering around your community? I have volunteered in many ways, from trash pickups to teaching younger kids volleyball, to pie making with our local church group for the community members to have for the holidays!
If you were to present a topic to a group of your peers, what would it be and why? I LOVE horses and rodeo! I could talk about them all day! I really enjoy volunteering around our community, too, with rodeo bible camps, Vacation Bible School, through 4H, FFA, and so much more! I'm passionate about giving back because others have helped me so much! I enjoy working with kids, like teaching them survival skills at our community pool, teaching music in multiple camps, and putting on livestock show practices to get ready for county fairs! I'm a well rounded individual, and always seem to be lending a hand one way or another! I love helping and supporting others!
Look for Faith in issue 48 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!
Ri Galloway - Colorado Nomination by Jolene Galloway Photography by Gina Boren Photography & others Issue 47 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Ri has a powerful love for life, adventures and success. As an animal loving, barrel racing, fashion guru, Ri cherishes her family and friends. Her ability to make a positive difference through her calm, confident spirit is astounding!
Photography by Crystal Walker
What would you most like to be interviewed about? My journey with barrel racing and becoming the Fiesta Days Rodeo Princess.
Tell us about your barrel racing career. How did you get started, what is training like and how many hours a day or week do you spend doing it? I was raised on horses, mostly as a trail riding family hobby and helping family friends move cattle. When I couldn’t be on a horse, I swiftly carried my stick pony everywhere I went. Stick ponies make good barrel horses too, so I thought at a mere 2 years old. Rolls of paper towels went missing as I created my cloverleaf pattern on the living room floor. That stick pony won every living room barrel race she entered. Little did my family know, this was just a sneak peak of what my future would hold. At 14 years old, I bought my first barrel horse prospect. He had never seen a barrel pattern, but I was determined to make him my barrel partner. I recreated my living room races in an arena, not knowing what I was doing at all. I was determined, pouring hours and hours of time trying to perfect this giant steed around those three barrels. I failed terribly, I was frustrated, all I wanted was to make what we call a “clean run”. I reached out for guidance to a woman who regularly worked her horses at the arena. She took me in and taught me the ropes... she inspired me, I wanted to be just like her.
Four years later, I have 2 finished barrel horses and am training my future prospect. I travel on the weekends to compete in barrel races and spend weekdays critiquing my weekend performances. Life in the barn with my ponies is always an adventure and so rewarding!
Photography by Kirk Griffith
What is your proudest moment or accomplishment with the sport? My most accomplished moment in my barrel racing career was winning my first barrel race. I walked away with the most beautiful buckle and a feeling like I just conquered the world. This win was 2 years in the making, my mare and I worked endlessly trying to perfect the barrel pattern at a high rate of speed and we finally did it.
Photography by Gina Boren Photography
How did you become Fiesta Days Rodeo Princess and what does this glorious status entail? In 2019, I was honored with the opportunity to run for the Durango Fiesta Days Rodeo Princess. The competition had daily challenges; public speaking, modeling, horsemanship, personal interview, a written test on Durango Fiesta Days history and the queen and flag runs around the arena. I was crowned Princess after a very exciting week. Being part of the Durango Fiesta Days Royalty has been very rewarding, I represent the heritage and sport of rodeo. I am required to wear a cowboy hat with crown, a sash with my title, flashy western attire, tight curls, and an affectionate smile.
Look for Ri in issue 47 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!