Jared Baraja - California Nomination by Astrid Gonzalez Photography by Haywood Hogan Issue 60 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Jared Baraja is not your typical teenager. Jared is a sweet, kind, athletic, goal-chasing, helpful, mindful, loving & respectful young man. He is a true go-getter & the first to lend a hand when someone needs help. This bright young man also has an act for cooking. He cooks along side his wonderful Gramdmother & takes his cooking lessons from her, to heart. Truly, Jared is a genuine & beautiful soul with an enormous heart. He sets the standards high for your everyday, typical teenager.
Photography by Haywood Hogan
Tell us about your friendship with Astrid Gonzalez. Overall, my friendship between me and Astrid is really nice, she is very kind and supportive to me and my family. She also is a person I think I could talk to if something big is happening in my life, and I think she would give the best advice towards it.
What is something fun you like to do together? Watching movies on Netflix with her and my dad is fun.
When did you start cooking and what do you like to cook the most? I started cooking with my grandma when I was around 8 years old, I liked cooking Lengua the most. It's an Ecuadorian dish. That's my favorite, it's beef tongue with Peanut Butter sauce.
Tell us about your grandmother and what you like cooking together. My grandmother is a very kind and loving, she helps us a lot around the house, and cares for me and my family. She cooks food for us, she taught me a bit of art and she introduced me to cooking. My grandma is also very generous with her love and cares for a lot of people.
How did you find and why did you choose Haywood Hogan for your photographer? I found Haywood through my dad's girlfriend, Astrid, I chose him because I thought it was interesting and I gave it a try and it was a really good decision. He is a really cool guy. He likes to joke around. He is really fun to be around.
What was your experience like? What did you love most about it? I was nervous at first, I felt like I was talking to a friend the more I got into it and in the end, it was really fun. We were planning out the spots where we were going to shoot at. I understood what he was saying and what he meant, he made things simple. I really liked talking to him. He cracks jokes once in a while and it felt really welcoming since I first started modeling.
Photography by Haywood Hogan
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? I keep a good mood around people and motivate my friends to be active so they can show their best version of themselves. An inspiring thing about me is working out and how I think it could help others get through things and be well and self-disciplined.
Tell us about your workout schedule. What is a typical day / week like? I start off the day with waking up and performing 3-4 sets of 15 knuckle pushups. Then I go about my day of being a teenager like going to school. In the morning, I pack myself a bag of crackers because I need to eat something after I get up. When I get home from school, I make myself a meal to eat, maybe like rice and eggs, or some leftovers that I could find from the previous day. When I'm bored, I randomly do dips for a while until I get tired. My actual weightlifting workout starts at 10pm where it can last 2-3 hours. Once I finish, I end off with a protein shake around 40 minutes after my workout to help with my recovery. My weekly schedule is separated into parts that I want to target that day. Monday is Biceps and triceps, Tuesday is chest and back, Wednesday is a rest day, Thursday is forearms and abs, Friday is legs and calves, Saturday is chest and Sunday is a rest day.
What have you learned about yourself while working out? I've learned that you could find joy in things other than being on a phone all day. I've also learned that there is always room for improvement in myself and others. The desire for improvement is what always keeps me motivated.
What are you most looking forward to this school year? I am looking forward to meeting new people and making more friends and swim competitions that are coming up in the Spring semester.
If we asked your friends, what is the first story about you they'd tell us? Maybe they would talk about me just spamming weights at the school gym.
What is your family like and where do you fit in? My family likes to travel, I enjoy traveling. We share the same love for exploring. That is where I fit in.
What is your favorite family memory? My favorite family memory is when I was in Hawaii, and I was jumping off an edge of a boulder into the ocean with my dad and my brother.
Photography by Haywood Hogan
What else would you like to talk about? I would like to talk about how to encourage others to help themselves so they could help others. I would also like to talk about self-improvement.
How do you encourage others to help themselves so they can help others? By telling them that they all have a potential to be the best version of themselves and that they should chase the best version of themselves.
If you were to present a topic to a group of your peers, what would it be? I would talk about weightlifting because it feels good doing it. The more you do it, you will start to see self- improvement, not just physically but also mentally and doing that, will push you forward through life's obstacles. I would like to add ways to help them with schoolwork and such.
What is the hardest thing you have ever accomplished, and how did you do it? I'd say the hardest was getting a Red Perlon, a rank in rock climbing. It took me a very long time figuring out ways to climb better, learn the knots, belay people and help them get up, in addition, completing challenges like climbing a 150-foot rock climb.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are today? Keep pushing forward even if you aren't seeing any progress or if it seems impossible.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans? Attending law school (family law) and modeling on the side.
What is your favorite activity or pastime that was not in your nomination? I enjoy hanging out with my friends after school and going on walks.
Do you have a hidden talent? What is it? I do not know if I have a hidden talent, it might be so hidden that I have not recognized it.
3 Things on your bucket list Go to Greece. Have a big, happy family. Achieve success.
Who do you find inspiring? I find bodybuilders that I see online inspiring because I want to be like them one day.
What about you inspires others/why do you think you are inspiring? I think my personality inspires others because I like to Lift their spirits up.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us? Not at this time. Thank You!
Look for Jared in issue 60 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!