Interview by Larissa Chelius Submitted by Raley Blacklock Nomination & Photography by Gray Seniors
The Nomination: This is the second year Raley has been on my model team & she goes out of her way to help me and the team anyway she can. She does make-up and is always suggesting new ideas for styled shoots. Raley was a figure skater for 8 years and now plays Varsity Lacrosse. She volunteers at a local animal welfare center every week and fosters kittens. She has received highest honors every year in school, recently represented the Beta Club at Nationals in Robotics, and has been in the School of Arts for advanced theater for the last 2 years. She is a member of Young Life, participates in the YMCA food drive, and has taken French for 8 years. She aspires to be an actress and cosmetologist.”
How did you become interested in figure skating? For a while I lived in Colorado, and I didn’t have a sport to play. I tried a whole ensemble of things, but it wasn’t until I went to my first ice skating rink for a friend’s birthday party that I knew what I wanted to do. I saw a professional skater and realized immediately that I desired to be able to skate like that.
What kind of work projects have you done at your local animal welfare center? Every week I go and clean the shelter. This includes laundry, cleaning litter boxes, sweeping, mopping, and feeding (and loving on) about 95 cats. We had a tent at a community fair that I worked at to promote our kittens for adoption and looked for more volunteers. There was also an event that I worked at that was, in good fun, named Tacocat Spelled Backwards is Tacocat. It had all sorts of fun things like face painting for the kids and raffling for the adults.
How do you come up with ideas for styled shoots? like to believe I have a creative eye! I think the key is to be unafraid of messing up. It doesn’t matter if my ideas don’t turn out well, because there’s always a chance that they will be super fun! Seeing the beauty in opportunities that would otherwise be left untouched is something that I enjoy. Your shoot can be extravagant and well planned, but some of the best pictures I have ever taken were when it came naturally to me.
Has representing the Beta Club at Nationals in Robotics changed your life in any way? Absolutely! Through Beta Club, I have found that I have natural leadership skills. It has also made me more conscious of what’s happening in the world because all good leaders are aware. Beta has made me want to join more clubs, because I realized that being a part of things can make a difference, no matter how small it may be. Being a military child has also taught me the same thing. What are your plans for cosmetology? I am taking an advanced cosmetology course next year at New Horizons, a by-application addition to school. Through this course I will be given the chance to take the state test to get my cosmetology license. I will then take the test in other states to broaden my realm of possibilities. I have two potential college routes I might like to take as well in Wyoming or California.