Kenna Drake – Colorado Nomination and Photography by Everyday Moments Photography Issue 60 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Kenna is an amazing and accomplished young woman who inspires so many around her. Kenna is an active teen being on her high school Poms/Dance team, a leadership position in Student Council AND earning a 3.9 GPA! Being part of an Air Force family, Kenna has traveled the world and seen life through girls’ eyes in many cultures and this, along with her compassionate heart, has led her to be an advocate for young women everywhere. Kenna’s goal is to lift girls up making sure they do not feel torn down-- what an inspiration she truly is!
Photography by Everyday Moments Photography
What is your Poms/Dance team like and where do you fit in? My Poms/dance team is like a second family. We are all close and hangout even outside of practice. I am one of the returning members to the team and I help a lot of the dancers with questions on dances, sidelines, and I am also on the competition team. Meaning 9 of us, including me, go to competitions including league and state.
What do you love most about being on the team? What I love most about being on poms is the spirit. We get to perform at assemblies, varsity football, and varsity basketball. I love getting the student section excited and pumped up. I also love being able to express myself through dance whether it’s jazz, hip hop, Pom, lyrical, etc. It helps me become a more rounded dancer.
When did you start dancing and what is the hardest thing about it that people may not understand? The first time I ever danced was when I was 4. It didn’t last for very long but it introduced me to dance. Then, when I was 8 I started Irish dancing. I stuck with it for two years and did really well. I stopped when I moved because I could no longer continue the program. I tried a lot of different activities between then and now. Last year I started dancing again. Getting the strength and technique that is needed to dance well is a lot harder than most people think. It takes lots of time,practice, and instruction.
What is your leadership position on the Student Council? I am the co-chair for a committee called Bear Leadership. Bear leadership focuses on thank you cards for volunteers at dances, games, concessions, etc. We also plan birthday parties for our fellow members. We also throw student council dinners where all of us can bond and loosen some stress with all the activities. Finally we also buy build-a-bears for the graduating seniors to look back on their high school years.
Photography by Everyday Moments Photography
What is your strongest leadership quality? My strongest leadership ability is the ability to listen and make connections. Whenever someone tells me a suggestion, critique, or whatever they want to, I listen to them to my fullest abilities. I really try to engage with whoever I’m talking to to show them I care. I also make connections very well. I tend to be the kind of friend that everyone can go to for advice or to get something off their chest. This makes me a great leader because I would be seen as a leader not a dictator.
What have you learned about yourself in this leadership role? I have learned that the more I can be involved the better. By being involved in more activities I can meet new people and experience new things. This will help me become a more rounded person and make more connections. Being a more rounded person is important because then I see different perspectives and can connect through those experiences. I also tend to have more fun when going to more activities because it distracts me from stress from school.
What women issues are most important to you to advocate? I want to bring to attention that women’s appearances don’t determine who they are. Just because someone wears baggy or tight clothes, pants, skirts, dresses, and so much more, doesn’t define who they are. It’s the same with makeup. In today's society women are expected to put on makeup to “look better” but then they’re called fake. Some women wear makeup to cover insecurities, gain confidence, for fun, and many other reasons. We should wear what we want to express ourselves and not be bullied, taken advantage of, or looked down upon just because we’re wearing something someone doesn’t approve of.
How did you find and why did you choose Everyday Moments Photography for your photographer? I found Everyday Moments Photography through my friend Ava. Her mom is starting up Everyday Moments Photography and I thought it would be fun to have a photo shoot. I chose it because I knew the family and I took advantage of a mini photo shoot she was doing.
What was your experience like? What did you love most about it? The whole photo shoot was a blast. I got to be around flowers and try new poses. I felt very confident and the photographer gave lots of compliments. I also got to bond with my friend Ava a little more because she was assisting her mom. I loved all of the creative photo ideas I got to do.
Photography by Everyday Moments Photography
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? Throughout my life living as a kid of someone in the Air Force, I moved a lot. Everywhere I went I had to remake connections with people and make something of myself. In each place I was able to become immersed with my surroundings and make the most out of the time I had there. It was hard as first but I kept working at it and didn't give up. I adapted to the different teaching styles, cultures, living spaces, and types of people.
Where has been a favorite place you've lived, and what is a favorite memory there? My favorite place I have lived in is either Germany or Colorado. My favorite memory in Germany was definitely the “the epic snowball fight”. The families on my road on base all got up pretty early one morning when it was snowing. We all went outside and started a huge snowball fight with snowball makers, sleds used at shields, and someone made a little igloo. My favorite memory in Colorado so far is when my two best friends came over and we baked Christmas cookies. We listened to Christmas music, danced, and baked. Unfortunately they turned out really bad, the cookies that is.
What have you learned about people in general living in so many different areas? I learned that people are generally the same wherever I went. The cultures fluctuated but the people pretty much stayed the same.
What will you miss most about the area you are in now when you leave? I will miss my friends, family, and community. I have made so many friends and memories here that I will never forget. I’m hoping I won’t leave until college but who knows if there is something waiting to happen to change my life.
What else would you like to talk about? I like to look to the future. I set myself up to where I can have options to choose from when a decision comes. Currently I'm doing my best in school and get good grades so I have more options with colleges. I also like to try different activities so I can be as well-rounded as possible. What I do to set myself up like this is talk to people around me who have already done, or are also trying to do, what I'm doing. They can give me advice and help me along my journey.
If you were to present a topic to a group of your peers, what would it be? I have lived in six very different places; Texas, Poland, Nevada, Germany, Virginia, and Colorado. Each of these places were very different from the others. I got to see different architecture, food, people, and landscapes. I loved seeing all the differences because it exposed me to how diverse our world is. I believe all of these places shaped me in some shape, way, or form. Each time I moved I was scared I wouldn't be accepted but once I found the right people, I had so much fun.
What is the hardest thing you have ever accomplished, and how did you do it? When I was younger I gained the courage to sing a solo in my school's talent show. I was able to do this because my friends and family encouraged me.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are today? Take risks, have fun, and focus on what is important to you
Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans? In five years I see myself in college, majoring in forensic science or psychology
What is your favorite activity or pastime that was not in your nomination? really like snowboarding with my dad.
3 Things on your bucket list. Ride in a hot air balloon, sky dive, ride in a helicopter
Who do you find inspiring? Zendaya or Emma Watson
What about you inspires others/why do you think you are inspiring? I have always been determined and have balanced my social, active, and academic life. Is there anything else you would like to tell us? I really appreciate this whole opportunity and recognition. I never thought something like this would happen.
Look for Kenna in issue 60 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!