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!!
Interview with Michelle Sicard Nomination by Penny Smith Photography by Dwight Allen Photography Iowa
The Nomination: Gavin has been running since his 7th grade year in Cross Country (and Track). Gavin has qualified for state for 6 years in a row starting in Junior High, with his team, and individually. Junior High garnered a state title and a runner up. In High school the Spartans were 4th twice, runners up once, and State Champions (in 4A) once. Gavin has been in the top 15 at state individually, earning him a All-State Award. Countless hours and miles have been run in and out of season. His attitude and character have been an example and inspiration to many, including his family!
What/Who inspired you to become a track athlete at your school? I started cross country and track in the 7th grade and I wasn’t very good at first. Coach Sacco (my coach at the time as well as my asst coach in high school) really motivated me to keep improving. By the end of that year, I had improved so much that I finished the season as the team’s second-best long-distance runner.
Tell me a little bit about the level of competitiveness at the state championships. The state meet is as competitive as it gets. The meets throughout the year are just to help get people in the competitive mindset you need for state.
As a dedicated member of the track/ cross-country team, how do you balance your academic, athletic, and social life? I'm able to balance all the things in my life by developing my time management skill. I pre-plan most of my days so I have enough time to finish schoolwork, practice, and hang out with my friends.
What are some of the most important qualities a good runner/ athlete must have to do well? I think one of the most valuable quality an athlete can have is dedication. As an athlete, you have to train day in and day out and you have to realize that success doesn’t come overnight; you have to work towards a goal and stick with it for the long haul.
What do you plan on doing after high school? After high school, I plan to continue my running career at a competitive level. Alongside my running career, I hope to study business and one day hold a high managerial position in a company.