Cristian Karakash – Minnesota Nomination & Photography by Connie Stone Photography Issue 70 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Cristian is inspiring for his interest in US government and military. He has been involved in Boys State, which simulates and educates on Minnesota government focusing on leadership and character. Building leadership and lifelong skills he attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards camp. Due to his military interest, he plans to attend the Naval Academy after high school. His school activities involve two choir groups performing at community and school events. Additionally, he is involved in Key Club which focuses on community service projects and events. All these activities while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and working at his family-owned resort.
Taken by me, Omaha Beach, Normandy France.
Why have you chosen an interest in the US Government and military? Ever since I was little I was highly interested in the military. It was always a compelling feeling and it has never been rivaled by any other career choice throughout my life. The closest career choice that would rival it is something within government. I am recently new to the government side of interest, but it is still a very important and crucial process in every way. Both the military and the government are roles of public service and defense of the country's constitution and everything it stands for.
Specifically, what are you interested in? In government I am interested in congress and specifically the legislative process. Potentially the House of Representatives. In the military, specifically the Navy, I am deciding between a career in Surface Warfare or Piloting as of now. I have also considered something in the Intelligence field.
What did you learn at Boys State? Boys State was an experience that really made me realize the importance of networking between individuals and the game of politics itself. There was a lot of discussion and convincing to achieve certain positions but it was all done in a respectful manner.
How would you describe your leadership style? I think it is difficult to describe your own leadership style. It is necessary for the people who follow you to describe it on your behalf, as they are the ones being impacted by it. I think the most important part is convincing other people to trust you more than themselves, especially in a military setting.
Photography by Connie Stone Photography
What did you learn at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards? I was skeptical going into it, after just having been at Boys State I highly doubted anything would be able to top the experience I had there. Instead, it was an entirely different type of experience and it was actually useful in many ways. It was more directed towards impactful lessons to develop leadership skills as opposed to simulated government like Boys State.
Tell us about your choir group. Where do you fit in, and where do you stand out? Choir is something I have always been involved in and had fun in. I think it is a great experience and it really makes the school day a lot more interactive and fun to go through. I think I fit in with those around me in my same section of singing. I have known most of them for a long time and it makes it a lot easier to work with people you already know. I think I stand out with solo work and being able to perform while keeping nerves at bay on stage.
What genre of music do you love to listen to the most? My favorite type of music is most of the classic rock songs from the 70s and 80s. I have always enjoyed that music over modern day music and I personally listen to it very frequently.
How do you balance everything you do socially with your fantastic GPA? To me it isn't really that difficult to maintain a solid GPA so long as you do your work and pay attention without doing unproductive things in class. The teachers make it relatively easy to understand and complete most homework. It hasn't been that much of an impact in my life, rather a side goal.
Taken by me, Formia, Italy
What have you learned about working with the public at your family owned resort? Working with the public is a great experience but it also is one that is very impactful if you have the same people coming back every year. Throughout my time there, the hardest part is definitely losing a long time guest or someone who has been coming there for a significant amount of time.
What do you wish others knew about working with the public? It's a unique experience that helps you develop a better understanding of other people's issues and specialties. I have been able to connect and learn from many people over the years who I would have never known in my life most likely if I hadn't been in the position I am.
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? In terms of material activities or other things, I wouldn't say that I have a whole ton to symbolize the term 'inspiring'. What I do believe in is maintaining a sense of honor and dignity throughout my life. Acting in the favor and security of those around me as opposed to myself alone. These are things I consider to hold close to myself but may be deemed inspirational by others.
What else would you like to talk about? Personally I have had a relatively easy life growing up. To me, that is a great thing but in some aspects it is a negative thing. I believe everyone should have some form of strength in their life through mentality and discipline to complete certain activities. I am a strong believer in living a fun and great life filled with kindness, but there are situations where being able to maintain a calm and careful thinking mindset is very important. This is something I have learned and developed despite having a life that didn't require me to do this.
What do you feel passionate about or could talk about forever? I am very involved in history and the military. History is very important to me, as I believe it is the most valuable subject to act in the interest of the future instead of the present. My favorite history topic is World War II. I believe there is so much to learn about within that topic and I find it all highly interesting, especially applying to the military side of things.
How did you find your photographer, Connie Stone Photography? What was your experience like? What did you love most about it? I found my photographer through a family friend, Bruce Black. I am very glad he provided her contact information to us as it was an awesome experience. We took some family photos and senior photos for my graduation. She was very kind and helpful towards the process, always working to get the best possible photos to make us happy. I loved the fact that we included a variety of outfits. My favorite one involved my Naval jacket with my Boys State pin on the collar.
If you had nothing to do and all day to do it, where would we find you? I would be in France on the beaches of Normandy. I went there once before this past April and I would call it the best experience of my life so far. There is so much to see and even with being there a week, we experienced so little but so much at the same time.
What is up next for you that you are super excited about? I am excited to see what happens with my life after school and what I end up pursuing through USNA or wherever I end up going.
Look for Cristian in issue 70 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!