Soleil Demars - Connecticut Interview by Inspiring Teens Nomination by Socrate Loginidis Photography by Melissa Hartigan Photography Issue 42 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Soleil Demars is an inspiring teen for a multitude of reasons that me and all around her can agree on. She is a hard-working student who also is a part of a club called best buddies. Best buddies is a club in which disabled students are given the chance to associate and talk to other students without disabilities. Soleil is not only a member of this club but a leader who organizes events and meetings for the club. She inspires many young teens with and without disabilities to go off and follow whatever dreams they want to pursue. I believe soleil deserves the opportunity to be in the next issue of inspiring teens magazine and know she would be honored and humbled to be recognized.
Photography by Melissa Hartigan Photography
How long have you been a volunteer swim coach and what inspired you to get started? I have been a volunteer swim coach since my freshman year in high school. I have coached every winter for the past three years, but unfortunately the team was unable to run this winter due to COVID-19. I had been on the East Lyme Middle School Swim team in my middle school years, and I had a great experience on the team, so I knew I wanted to stay involved with the team after graduating. After my freshman season of the high school swim team, one of my coaches who had coached me for my entire swim career asked if I would like to help her coach the ELMS swim team as a volunteer. At this point, I had been teaching swim lessons for almost a year, and I think she noticed how much I loved to teach and be around kids which is why she offered me the opportunity to help her coach swim as well.
As a leader in this area, what would your swimmers say are your strongest attributes? As a leader in the swim area, I believe my swimmers would say that some of my strongest attributes are being patient, being positive, and being encouraging. I think they would also note that I am a very friendly person with everyone I meet and interact with, including both the swimmers and their families.
What is the Best Buddies Club and what are your roles and responsibilities as president? The Best Buddies club at my school is a part of the international organization, Best Buddies which aims to create friendships between students both with and without physical or intellectual disabilities, by giving students with those disabilities more chances to have a “normal'' high school, college, or work social experience that they otherwise may not receive. As president of my school’s Best Buddies club at my school, it is my responsibility to keep members informed about meetings and events. I also help to keep the social media updated to help gain new members by taking pictures at meetings and events so that others can see how much fun we have! It is also my responsibility to help pair the buddy matches, and to ensure that those matches and those students who wish to have a buddy are a good match who socialize on a regular basis to help ensure that as many solid friendships are formed as possible!
You are also a member of the National Honor Society and Key Club and are the current vice president of the Leo Club in your town. Which organization do you spend the most time with and what do you love most about it? I spend the most time with the Leo club organization. I am a very social person, so what I love most about the Leo Club is how many people I get to meet and interact with during my volunteering time with the club. It is so humbling to hear about the different lives and experiences each person shares with me, and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to meet so many people I otherwise would have never met.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans? In five years, I see myself still attending the University of Alabama, but as a graduate student, on my way to becoming a speech and language pathologist. Before becoming a graduate student, I also hope to take part in the study abroad program Semester at Sea. After graduating, I’m not sure where I will live, but I hope to make a difference through my career and my leading others wherever I go!
Look for Soleil in issue 42 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!