Ryelin Brown - North Carolina Nomination by Leslie Williams. Photography by Kelli Gowdy Photography. Issue 70 of Inspiring Teens Magazine.
Nomination: Ryelin Brown is the best little sister, daughter, friend, lacrosse and softball teammate, mentor and student! Ryelin rocks a 4.3 GPA while being Jr Class VP, captain of school lacrosse team, playing travel and legion softball, acting as Jr Marshall, Yearbook Sports Editor and most importantly to her heart, a volunteer for Camp Joy and Soccer Tots. Both are special needs programs for all ages. She plays sports, swimming, music, arts and more with these camps and programs. Ryelin has always loved children, but kids with special needs hold a special place in her heart!
Photography by Kelli Gowdy Photography
Tell us about your family. Where do you fit in and where do you stand out? I live with my sister Galaxi who is 27 and is my best friend, my amazing mom who is tough on me, but always has my back and my awesome bonus dad who’s been a part of my life since I was 6. I have two adorable dogs, Boone and Onni. My dad, Chad is my literal twin, sports mentor and supports all that I do. I stand out in my family because of my outrageous personality but they wouldn’t want it any other way! We have some crazy family antics, but I love being a part of it.
What is a favorite family memory you will never forget? My family threw me the biggest Sweet 16 bash and chipped in to buy my dream car, Bruce, my 1990 Ford Bronco 2. They led me out of the party venue and all I saw was my beautiful bronco with a big red bow. You could hear my screams of excitement and appreciation from across the world. I will always remember such a special party with my family and friends.
Tell us about the sports you play. What is your favorite and why? I play softball and lacrosse. It would be hard to pick a favorite because they are so different and I’m a different person when I step on the field or dirt to play both. From 50 minutes of non-stop fight and aggression to 7 Innings of mental toughness and strength, I love being a part of the game and every opportunity it has given me. I especially love the friendships and amazing memories both sports have given me. Team dinners, cutting up at practice, dugout chants and more. I live for my sports!
What is a favorite accomplishment from a sport you play? Being elected as team captain for my Lacrosse team was an honor. It gave me a sense of pride to be chosen by my teammates to represent my team and school and to be recognized as a stand out leader. I was honored that my teammates and coaches looked at me in such a way and I am proud of myself for presenting myself and all the hard work I put into my sport. I always admired the Captains before me and wanted to lead the team and take on the same responsibilities as they did. Go Cowgirls!
Photography by Leslie Williams
Why is school important to you? School is important to me because it is the foundation for college and my future. I want to prepare myself for what comes next in life and school is the first way to do so. School provides me with multiple resources and opportunities to ensure that I am successful, so taking those seriously can set me in the right direction for the future that I have imagined for myself. It also allows me to make friendships, get involved in my community and make life lasting memories.
What are you most looking forward to this school year? While it will be a bittersweet moment for me, I am looking forward to graduating this year. I will miss high school and almost everything that came with it, but it will be rewarding to see my hard work pay off to set forth in the next chapter of my life. I am also looking forward to working as Editor in Chief with the yearbook staff and what we will create this year. I also look forward to my last season with the Women’s Lacrosse team and creating my final high school memories!
What do you love best about being the Yearbook Sports Editor? I started my yearbook career as just a sports photographer and worked my way to becoming the Sports Editor and I love it! I love how I get to be a part of and up close to every sports culture and how it has made me branch out to new sports that I wouldn’t have thought I would enjoy, like how I found a love for the sport of wrestling! I also love how I get to watch my yearbook team’s hard work come together and how I get to be the one who brings it all together as Editor!
What have you learned about yourself being a volunteer for Camp Joy and Soccer Tots? I have been able to be a part of something bigger than myself. I have learned about being aware of those around me and it has taught me to be selfless. It has allowed me to see the beauty in many different things through the eyes of children with disabilities. Volunteering for these wonderful programs has opened my eyes to career opportunities and how I could utilize my future career to work with children with disabilities.
What is your best leadership quality? My best leadership quality would be my acceptance of others. I like to create a welcoming and comfortable space for everyone around me. You cannot lead others if they don’t feel comfortable being led by you. When you acknowledge those around you, they will acknowledge you back as well and then that creates a powerful thing that ultimately benefits everyone!
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? I've always been a kid that was a bit different from most kids and while some weren't always accepting of how I chose to express myself I have always stayed true to who I am. I know how hard it is to step out of the mold the world creates for us, especially as teens and I always try to show others that it is okay for them to step out too! I think it is important for everyone to embrace their individuality because no one wants to live in a world where we are all the same!
Photography by Galaxi Wilson
What else would you like to talk about? I love music! I want everyone to understand how much music can be so cathartic for the soul! On the surface music provides entertainment, expression and even a career, but dig deeper and music is like a key to the soul. It holds so much power over the listener. Music can heal the listener from just a few songs.. From Vinyl to Spotify, music has always been so important to me, you almost never catch me not listening to music! I couldn’t imagine a world without it!
What do you feel passionate about or could talk about forever? Human rights is one of the most important topics that I am passionate about because it affects everyone and everyday life. I’m a biracial young woman and I have experienced moments where I was scared for tomorrow and what it meant for those that looked like me. No one deserves to live in a world where they are scared to exist! We should focus on a world that uplifts, protects and inspires each other instead of focusing on breaking down one another. We cannot expect the world to progress if we can’t even allow one another to progress.
How did you find your photographer, Kelli Gowdy Photography? What was your experience like? What did you love most about it? I found Kelli Gowdy through my school and got to know her from taking sports pictures for our schools yearbook alongside her! I then signed up to join her Senior photography group “Kelli’s Krew” and we went from there! My submitted picture is actually from a shoot I did with my sister and it was an amazing experience! Kelli really took the time to capture the love and uniqueness of me and my sister's relationship, while providing professional quality.
If you had nothing to do and all day to do it, where would we find you? On the rare occasion where I would have absolutely nothing to do, you would find me getting lost in the music in a record shop. Browsing the store looking for a new gem for my collection, then taking it home to listen to at full volume. Nothing sounds better than the crackle of an old vinyl playing. I hope that in my next visit to a record shop I can find a Van Halen album to add to my collection.
What is up next for you that you are super excited about? All things SENIOR YEAR! Crazy Friday night football games, senior sunrise, finding crazy outfits for football games, painting my senior parking spot, homecoming spirit week, applying to college, getting to dress up like an old lady for spirit week, winter break, my 18th birthday, senior beach week, lacrosse season, making the yearbook, studying at coffee shops, team dinners, senior pictures, late night drives with my friends, senior trip to Europe, figuring out what college I’m going to, upcoming concerts, prom and just SOAKING IT ALL IN!
Photography by Leslie Williams
What is your favorite activity or pastime that was not in your nomination? I really enjoy fashion and makeup. I love how people use clothing and make up to express themselves and I even like making funky outfits and crazy makeup looks!
Do you have a hidden talent? What is it? My hidden talent is I can tap dance and do the worm. :)
Three Things on your bucket list: Go to Europe Go to Sunset Strip and see Motley Crue in Concert Publish a book
Who do you find inspiring? I find my sister Galaxi inspiring. She has always been the person I look up to and have admired her hard work and selflessness.
Look for Ryelin in issue 70 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!