Mia Kopysciansky - Pennsylvania Nomination and Photography by Tish OConnor Photography Issue 48 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Mia Kopysciansky is a rising senior, honor-roll student and 3-sport varsity letterman who has a passion for serving kids with special needs. Mia is presently dual enrolled at LHU, pursuing credits toward her degree and will attend college to pursue a dual degree in Special Education/K-4 Elementary Education after graduation. Mia volunteers daily, assisting with the adapted Physical Education and adapted Art classes at her high school. She also volunteers for the Special Olympics and Kent’s Fest, which is an annual talent show celebrating those with special needs. Mia’s passion for serving those with special needs is truly inspiring.
Photography by Tish OConnor Photography
What would you most like to be interviewed about/what should we know about you in 100 words or less? I would love to discuss my experience as it relates to working with children with special needs and how we can challenge ourselves to look beyond what is a perceived difference to see how it can be leveraged as a strength. As peers and teachers of those with special needs, we must genuinely learn the student to determine what their interests and passions are and help each child/student realize their goals.
Tell us more about your experiences with this. What is your ultimate goal in this area? I have had the opportunity to work in adapted classrooms with the coolest kids. They are eager to learn and I love helping them see how truly awesome they are. It's so fun to see them reach their goals and challenge themselves every day. My ultimate goal is to become a teacher and help as many kids as I can realize how awesome they truly are.
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? I am currently a three-sport varsity athlete and letterman. This year my goal is to earn Captain on both the soccer and basketball teams. In 9th grade I was a varsity starter on the basketball team as Point Guard and was recognized as All-Conference. I was the point guard for an AAU basketball team which won several tournaments and a Mid-Atlantic championship. I also made the varsity soccer team in 9th grade and started as the left back. I have played softball, love golf, and in 11th grade I joined the varsity Track and Field team where I threw the javelin and qualified for districts. I LOVE sports!
That's a lot of athletics! Tell us a favorite memory from one of your sports. My favorite memory is joining the track team this year and qualifying for districts. It was way out of my comfort zone, but I wanted to try something new. I picked up a javelin for the first time this year, and absolutely fell in love with the sport. My friend Mallory, who was a state qualifier encouraged, me and mentored me. It was fun to see how even an individual sport could become a team sport with the right people helping you!
What do you hope to pass down to underclassmen from what you've learned from sports? I hope that I can teach the underclassmen that while winning is fun, there is also a lot to be learned in the journey to become a better performer and teammate. Pay attention to taking care of your teammates and providing the right support so that everyone improves as a team and develops a love of the sport.
Tell us about your photoshoot/s with Tisha O’Connor Photography. What did/do you love most about being with her/in front of her camera? Tisha is amazing to work with. She made the photoshoot so much fun. I was nervous to be in front of the camera, but she let me be me! I wanted my pictures to be unique, and she made that happen. She gave me all the tools I needed to be confident in front of the camera.
If you were to present a topic to a group of your peers, what would it be and why? I am passionate about teaching those with special needs. I have known since I was 5 years old that I wanted to teach children with special needs. Over the course of my volunteerism, I have learned that I can take lessons from my years as a varsity athlete, as well as my interest in art and music and create dynamic and interesting lessons that can spark interest with my students and expose them to new topics and/or skills which motivate them in the classroom. That is so exciting and something I could talk about forever.
Photography by Tish OConnor Photography
What is the hardest thing you have ever accomplished, and how did you do it? The hardest thing I have ever accomplished was being named All-Conference as a freshman. I was playing with much bigger and older players and it was scary and intimidating. I spent a lot of time both inside and outside of practice to become the best athlete and teammate I could be.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are today? Failure is a great teacher! Everyone experiences setbacks so keep your head up and keep trying to get/do better.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans? I will be in a classroom of my own, doing what I love…. teaching! What is your favorite activity or pastime that was not in your nomination? I love being creative. I write my own songs and I even taught myself how to play the ukulele.
Do you have a hidden talent? What is it? My hidden talent is being able to stand on my head for a very long time.
3 Things on your bucket list 1. See Hawaii 2. Graduate High School and College with Honors 3. Go skydiving
Who do you find inspiring? My mom is my biggest inspiration. She balances an incredible career with being a great Mom. She taught me and my siblings to love God, stay focused, work hard and be loyal.
What about you inspires others/why do you think you are inspiring? I genuinely care about people and work hard to serve others with the gifts God gave me.
Look for Mia in issue 48 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!