Tatum Scott – Colorado Nomination by Jaylan Photography by Sandy Puc Photography Issue 65 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Tatum Scott is the most inspiring 17 year old I know. She plays basketball and leads a club at her school that supports, uplifts, and encourages her classmates, peers, and the school. She is a light, a joy, and inspiration to her family, teachers, and friends. She has a heart to love, help and care about people in any way that she can. Which makes her chosen career path quite perfect as she is preparing to go to school to study to become a medical PA. She deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated because that is what she does for everyone else every day.
Photography by Sandy Puc Photography
Tell us about your basketball career. When did you get started and where are you at with it now? I have always loved sports and been an athletic person. But I started basketball in 6th grade. Mostly because I was bored and one of my friends was doing it. But I fell in love with the sport. I quit softball so that I could focus on basketball and be able to excel at it because I wasn’t very good when I started. In 8th grade I was one of 2 people on my team that had ever played and it pushed me to be better so that our team could still put up a fight and that is when I knew I wanted to play in highschool. I moved schools at the start of Freshman year and I was really nervous to play but I went out there and did my best and the coaches were super helpful and I started playing club and putting a lot more effort into doing better so that I could make Varsity. By my junior year I made varsity but I was really upset because my coach never played me. But this only pushed me to work harder to be better. I found a new club team and basketball was all that I did over the summer. I went pretty much everyday for at least 2 hours. Then when we started our pre season games with my school team my coach was very impressed at my improvement. I ended up being a starter on varsity for my senior year. We also won districts which is the first time any team in any sport has done that at my school. We also made it to state but we didn’t make it too far in the tournament.
What do you love most about basketball and your team? The thing that I love most about basketball is that it is a physical sport and it is overall just really fun. It is a very mental game as well. Something that I love about my team is how supportive we all are of each person on our team. An example of this is that I have a teammate, her name is Ekko, and the night before our senior game she only needed 27 more points to get 1,000 points in her 4 years of highschool. When she hit her 1000 points, our coach called a time-out and we stopped the game to celebrate this amazing milestone. This is truly something that I will always remember just seeing how everyone ran out onto the floor to surround her and how we were all just so happy for her.
What is your coach like and how have they inspired you? My coach is young and he is a really fun coach during practices. We are allowed to have fun while still getting things that we need to get done. One way that he inspired me is to push myself to the next level and to work hard so that I could be a starter my senior year.
What is the club that you lead? Tell us why it's so important to you. The club that I lead is called Reach. It is a place where people can have an escape while they are at school. It is to build up a community and to bring people together who wouldn’t always necessarily be friends. It is a place for people to feel accepted, loved and comfortable. Somewhere that we can talk about the hard questions and a place that people can open up about their thoughts and their struggles, a place where everyone supports one another. Somewhere that people can feel compassion towards them and extend theirs to others. It is important to me because I know what it feels like to feel out of place or to not have somewhere in a school environment that I can talk about the hard stuff and the questions that I have. It is most of all a Bible study group. We talk about God and the things that people don’t know and we build each other up. We have also had a lot of people come that aren’t Christians which I love most of all. They come just because they want a place and a community as well. I love that they still feel comfortable to come because my vision for Reach was for it to just be a safe place for anyone.
What have you learned about yourself as a leader through this organization? Something that I have learned is that even though I don’t know all the answers and that not everything always goes perfectly all of the time, I most of all can still offer hope to people. I’ve learned that what people need more than anything is just a place to feel comforted, valued, and to feel like they have a place to feel loved and accepted; and that where they are now is not who they are going to be for the rest of their lives – rather it is just a moment in their story - a piece of the puzzle to get them to their dreams.
Tell us about your family and where you fit in. Where do you stand out? My family is really close and we are all really supportive of each other in everything we do. I have 4 siblings – 2 brothers and 2 sisters. I am the youngest of 5 kids and there is a 5 1/2 year gap between me and my closest sibling. I think this is one of the ways that I stand out most within my family, because I am so much younger than the rest of them. Another way I stand out is that my name means “cheerful, bringer of joy” and I believe I live up to my name. I love bringing joy and laughter into every situation, and I am rarely in a bad or sad mood.
Photography by Sandy Puc Photography
What is a favorite family tradition you hope never ends? One of my favorite family traditions that I hope never ends is that on Christmas Eve we go to a church service together and then we open gifts on that night. I know most families open gifts on Christmas morning, but I think it is fun opening them that night so that we can have a full day spent together on Christmas Day eating together and enjoying a relaxing day.
What is your friend group like and what do you like to do with them most? I have a pretty big friend group but we all also hangout in smaller groups within our group. I have a relationship with each person individually which is something I really like about my friend group. We all make it a point to be involved in each person's life, and support each other in our highs and our lows. We often have deep conversations with each other but we also are really good at having fun. I think the thing that mostly brings us together is our youth group. Most, if not all of us, go to the same youth group together.
How did you find and why did you choose Sandy Puc Photography for your photographer? I chose Sandy Puc photography because they took some photos for my mom, which turned out amazing. Another reason that I chose them is because I really wanted my senior pictures done in a sunflower field, which are my favorite flower, and I think they reflect my personality. Every year, in the fall when the sunflowers are blooming, Sandy Puc schedules photo shoots in a sunflower field. The timing was perfect for when I needed my senior pictures taken, so it just worked out perfectly.
What was your experience like? What did you love most about it? They were so easy to work with! Very encouraging and so nice! It felt effortless because they knew what they were doing and already had everything set so perfectly. They came up with many fun photo ideas, as well as helped me with some of my ideas.
Photography by Sandy Puc Photography
What is the most interesting thing you've learned from one of your teachers this year? I am not fully sure about what is most interesting but 2 important things that I have learned is to be patient and to stay motivated. It is really easy to get frustrated with my teachers and it is even easier to be a victim of senioritis. But my teachers have been really good at helping all of us seniors to stay on track and continue to be motivated, and to not let anything hinder our grades.
Why did you choose to become a medical PA? I chose to pursue becoming a Physician’s Assistant because I have always wanted to go into the medical field. I kept jumping around at what I specifically wanted to do, and went from an OBGYN to a surgeon, then to pediatrics, etc. Then I found out more information about Physician’s Assistants. Some things that influenced my decision are that there are some PA programs that require only five years of schooling to finish; and also that PAs get to practice in a large variety of medical fields (they don’t have to specialize in one specific area). I want to be able to interact with and help as many people as I can. Look for Tatum in issue 65 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!