Alexis Filmer - Indiana Interview by Sierra Zaccagnino Nomination & Photography by Jennifer Dunn Photography Featured in Issue 16 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The nomination: Alexis is an AMAZING volleyball player! To know her in person you wouldn't expect her to be so aggressive on the court, but she is! She is a sweet, kind and funny girl too!
What inspired you to start playing volleyball? I started as a basketball player at the age of 4 but at age 7 I watched my older cousin, Abbie, play a high school volleyball game and knew that volleyball was the sport for me. I started playing that next season and loved it. I hope that I have been able to inspire another young athlete the way Abbie inspired me.
What has been the biggest challenge being a student athlete and how have you overcome it? My biggest challenge being a student athlete is finding the time to balance my volleyball schedule and rigorous school curriculum. Playing volleyball all year round, overcoming it has not been easy but sacrificing social events to make time for academics has been well worth it.
In your opinion, what is the most rewarding part of being an athlete? Although there are many, if I had to narrow it down to one reward it would be the family like bond I have made with my teammates past and present. I have built many friendships with coaches and players that mean so much to me. I know they will last a lifetime.
Is there anything else besides volleyball that you are well known for? I love to travel! My family has always made travel a priority and I have been lucky enough to see a lot of the world. I enjoy seeing and participating in the customs of other cultures. This has been such a big part of my life that my family even took our photographer, Jennifer Dunn, on a couple trips with us to capture my love for traveling. I hope to continue this into my adulthood.
What are your plans for the future? I plan to attend college and become a Speech Pathology/American Sign Language major. I have a passion to help people and tend to gravitate towards children. I hope to have a career working with special needs children.
Alexis was featured in Issue 16 of Inspiring Teens Magazine.
Mallory Lough Interview by Larissa Chelius Nomination & Photography by Sharon Holy Photography Ohio Issue 15
The nomination: Mallory brightens any room with her smile. She holds a 4.44 GPA, participates in many school organizations, and is a talented athlete. She’s been playing both school and Junior Olympic volleyball since she was nine. Mallory earned a scholarship to play college volleyball at UMass Boston where she will study nursing.
Playing on JO team since age 9: I’ve been playing with the same girls all my years. It’s been such a fun experience. I’ve been able to travel to cities I would’ve never gotten to go to at my age: Indianapolis, Columbus, Chicago, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Texas, Colorado, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and many more. I’ve loved getting to know all the girls, coaches, and directors and really have grown as a player and person. I have learned how to work together as a team and grown as a team leader.
The JO Volleyball team is very competitive. With high school volleyball teams, coaches do not pick their teams or players, it’s just whoever is a student at the school plays there and goes through a tryout process. Whereas with JO, it’s the best of the best players being recruited from many different area Clubs. Every Club is trying to put together the most talented team in the surrounding area. Everyone wants to play, be the best, and win. I am very competitive and love to excel in everything I do. I've been very fortunate to play for the top team throughout my JO years and we have qualified for Nationals each year to compete further with the top teams around the country.
I have gotten very good at time management with trying to do most of my homework in school or car rides or any free time I get to keep my GPA high. I just really work hard on my grades and value my academics a lot and really want to do well. I stay disciplined both on and off the court, and in the classroom.
UMASS was my top choice because I knew I wanted to major in Nursing in college, but a lot of universities do not support it, due to its difficulty, except UMass. I never wanted to go to college far away, but right when I met the girls and coaches and set foot on the campus, I just knew it was a great fit for me. When I found out about my scholarship to UMass, I was overly ecstatic. I do not think there are any words to describe the feeling of all your hard work, determination, and perseverance pay off. It’s just such a rewarding feeling.
I am interest in nursing because I am a very compassionate caring person, who wants to make sure everyone is always okay. When I was growing up, I loved playing babies and pretending to be a doctor. I dream and hope to become a pediatric nurse and share my love and compassion for children in the medical field.