My Senior Project

Going into senior year and the summer before senior year I had a few ideas of what I could do as my senior project. They just needed to meet my two personal requirements. The first requirement was that it would take minimal prep work and my second, that it would be easy. Though my senior project didn’t exactly meet those requirements that I made for myself I wouldn’t change it for the world. For my senior project I coached a cheerleading squad for Southwest Washington Youth Cheerleading. Through this project I faced many trials and I definitely wouldn’t use the word “easy” to define my work.
At first coaching a cheerleading squad wasn’t even on my radar of what I should do for my senior project. I was thinking I would do a can food drive or use the yearly mission trip to Harrah that I go on as my senior project. Then one day at church I was sought after by one of the moms who has a daughter in middle school. She then proceeded to ask me if I would be willing to coach her daughters cheerleading squad. My first response was yes, because quite frankly I have a problem with saying no to people and in turn my plate is always overflowing with my “to-do” list. Then later I decided to turn the coaching into my senior project and it ended up being an amazing experience, not just another thing to add t0 my never ending list of “stuff” I constantly have to do.
To begin my senior project as a cheerleading coach there was a lot of work that had to be done. Before being able to coach I had to go to a coaches meeting and memorize all the rules that go into coaching a cheer squad. There are much more rules than you may think. I also had to set up an itinerary that worked for each family on my squad. Since I was coaching 7th and 8th grade girls they didn’t have the ability to drive so I had to make sure all of my planning worked well with each athlete’s families. Working with these middle school students meant I was to be working with each of their parents, this became a struggle in itself.
The first lesson that I learned is that parents are crazy. The second lesson was the patience one needs to deal with such parents. This patience is much different than the patience needed to work with the students. It is impossible to please every parent when deciding practice times, uniforms, or other cheer irregularities. I had to utilize the tool of compromise and learn to be okay with the fact that I won’t be pleasing everyone.
To start off my season I held a meeting with all the families of the children that will be participating in the program. At this meeting we chose the cheerleading uniforms, got them ordered and discussed the little things that go into cheerleading. Are we going to be wearing bows to the games, or not? More importantly, I went over all the SWYC guidelines as well as my personal guidelines. Some of these guidelines included respect for one another and respect towards the community of Hockinson in itself. Through leading these kids I knew from the beginning that I would make an impact on their lives and that they were looking up to me. By knowing this it was very important for me to take this project past cheerleading and relate it to life. I wanted to teach these young girls now that there is so much more to cheerleading than the cute uniforms and hot football players.
Through the years cheerleading has changed my life drastically. It has taught me that through perseverance and hard work one can truly achieve anything. It has also taught me what it means to represent an organization or a group of people in a positive manner. As a cheerleader at Hockinson High School I am also a representative of the school and therefore want to represent it to the best of my ability. I have been able to do this by always being nice, working hard at not only cheer but also at my academics and by not taking part in illegal activities. In the next journey of my life I will be representing Washington State University as a cheerleader and I plan on using the same skills I learned at HHS and carry them over to WSU. This is my end goal for the girls on my SWYC cheer squad. That they could use the skills I was able to teach them through my own experiences in there new journey ahead of them.
Though the next journey for my cheerleaders isn’t college, it is high school and I am proud to say that each of them will be trying out for the HHS Cheerleading Squad in a few short weeks. Knowing this I was able to prioritize my times with the girls and not only work on the emotional and inner preparation of being a cheerleader but also the physical aspects. During a normal practice we would work on all the physical skills that go into cheerleading. I was able to help the girls on their tumbling and teach them various cheers and dances. At times this became a challenge, I am able to say that some of the girls came into the program with little skill, but fortunately they were all hard workers and allowed themselves to learn a lot and become very skilled cheerleaders. Every week they would cheer at the CCYF football games and then they performed a dance and cheer at two showcases at the end of the season. For the first time ever a SWYC had the opportunity to showcase their skills at a local high school competition. This was an amazing opportunity for the girls and was an amazing building experience for them. The squad was so nervous and struggled with a lot of challenges that they had to face in order to perfect the routine and make it “show ready,” but in the end they performed their routine with great confidence. This was a very rewarding experience for not only the girls but also for me. It was great to see the final product of hard work and diligence and to see the girls show off all that they had learned during the season.
Yes, I was able to teach the girls on my cheerleading squad the ins and outs of being a cheerleader, but I would suggest that they taught me so much more. Each girl on the squad had a separate impact on my life and taught me skills and values that will take me far in life. They taught me how to be compassionate (no matter how frustrated I may have gotten), they taught me patience and they also taught me a skill that I had never required fully, how to be a good teacher. My senior project, which initially was something I wanted to just get done with as fast as possible became an immense learning experience. Now because of my senior project I learned that I am a good teacher and it may be something I want to spend the rest of my life doing. I think one day I want to work with secondary education and maybe on top of that coach a high school cheerleading squad.
It is clear that this project changed me immensely, but how did it change the world around me? I’ve touched on this throughout my essay but let’s recap. My project gave a group of children the confidence to try new things and to hone in on their skills. This confidence will carry with them through life and then maybe one day they will be able to give the same effect on another group of girl or boys. I also was able to teach the girls how to be a positive representative of an organization and how to have responsibility. These are also skills that will be able to be used throughout their entire lives. I taught them that there is so much more that goes into cheerleading and into life in general than looking cute and being in front of people. Life is about challenges and overcoming those challenges. Life is about being a positive person and positively affecting the people around you. I was also able to affect the community around me outside of just my squad. My team provided entertainment for the football fans who showed up to the CCYF games and my team also became a role model team for younger SWYC teams.
Overall I was so blessed to have been able to coach an amazing cheerleading team. It’s humbling for me to realize how much effort coaches and teachers have to put into their work. This project definitely gave me a better understanding of leadership. It was also great to know that I had an actual impact on the team and that I am now a person that they can look up to.

What Cheerleading Means to Me

*This is an essay I had to write for a cheerleading scholarship offered by the state of Washington, thought I would share it with you all!

In the world of cheerleading it becomes so easy to lose track of what cheerleading truly means. It becomes easy for one to focus on the materialistic aspects of cheerleading.  When I was initially interested in cheerleading it was those material aspects such as cute uniforms and being spotlighted in the yearbook that attracted me to the sport. Then after being a cheerleader for multiple years it’s easy for me to say those things don’t matter, because they don’t. That’s not what cheerleading is for me. For me cheerleading is athleticism and hard work. To be a cheerleader one must have a good work ethic and perseverance.

I come from a small town north of Vancouver, Washington called Hockinson. When I tried out for the cheer team my freshman year there was no competition cheer team at my school, we were strictly sideline cheerleaders. I was a part of a revolution at Hockinson High School. My junior year I was a part of the creation of Hockinson High School’s first ever competition cheer team. I plugged hours of work into the program. My coaches, my team and I were all willing to do anything to make this new team a success. I helped choreograph the routine and was able to collaborate with my coaches and other coaches in the area. The work put into making this dream team a reality was grand, but we were able to do it. We ended up qualifying for state that year and placing fourth.

Hard work truly pays off and cheerleading truly has taught me this. Beginning of my senior year I had set high goals for both myself and my team. Being MVP my junior year and now captain I have had to step up as a leader and set a good example for my team. Every day I work and train for my dream to one day be a collegiate cheerleader and to place first in state with my high school team. These goals seem high but they are certainly attainable with hard work. Our team has been working since day one of this season and through blood, sweat and tears we have kept going. As of February 1st, 2014 Hockinson High School’s competition cheerleading squad is officially the state champions of Washington for the Co-Ed Tumbling division. Our goal of winning state seemed unimaginable, I mean how can little old Hockinson High school win state, but we did, through hard work and dedication.

Spring will shortly be here which means college tryouts will also be here. Going into this adventure I’m scared but I know that I have worked hard to get to where I am today. The skills I have attained and the titles I have gained have all been possible because of the hard work that cheerleading has taught me. I’m ready for tryouts; with hard work one can achieve anything.

Spanish Free Write

Este verano quiero hacer muchas cosas. Voy a tener mucho divertido con mi familia y mis amigos. Hay muchas cosas espero hacer por mi final verano antes estoy un estudiante de in universidad.
Yo espero que mis amigos y yo escalemos Mt. Adams otra vez. El verano pasado escalamos Mt. Adams y fue muy divertido pero muy dificial. Yo espero que mis amigos y yo vayamos muchas caminatas. Lad semana pasado mi novio y yo escalamos Beacon Rock. Fue muy divertido y quiero ir en mucho mas caminatas.
Tambien yo espero que mi familia y yo vayamos acampado. Me fascina acampada y mi familia y yo vamos todos los veranos. Voy a nadar en el lago y manejar el bote.
Este verano va a asombroso. Estoy muy emocionado.

*Sorry if some of this doesn’t make sense. Spanish isn’t exactly my first language. 😉

Ted Talk- Show Love, Grace and Forgivness

Yesterday in class we watched a Ted Talk. not sure the name of it but that’s not exactly relevant. For most of the talk nothing was yelling “wow” at me until one of the last sentences. “You’re only ever going to be as young as you are right now.” This kind of seems like a “duh” statement but I guess I’m dumb and need a “duh” statement to really make me think.

I am never going to be as young as I was yesterday, I’ll never be able to climb Beacon Rock again for the first time, or enjoy a burger from Brothers with my best friends on Friday, March 21st ever again. Or more importantly I will never be able to go back and sit by that kid who was sitting alone in the lunch room last week, or call my grandpa one more time before his passing, or tell my little sister she is beautiful when she was crying last week because someone crushed her self worth. These moments and feelings are gone forever. The only thing I now have control over is what I will do in the future. I can’t control life and what happens in life but I can control how I react to life.

“If you go about things with love, grace and forgiveness you will never doubt yourself.” This is what I try and tell myself daily because I’m not getting younger and I never know when God will decide my time here on earth is over, or worse when my best friend or boyfriend, brother or sister, mom or dad, or my aunt or uncle’s time is over. You have an impact on the lives around you. Always show love. Always show grace. Always show forgiveness. Why? Because life is too short not to.

Love

I wrote this poem in middle school, It’s interesting to see how much my writing has progressed. None the less this poem is dear to my heart and I’m happy to share it with you all.

 

Love

Inspired by Luke Jensen

 

He impacted so many people in so many ways.

He knew what love meant, something that may take forever to truly know.

He walked a tough path, a path of pain, but in all that pain there was love.

That love would let him put away the pain for just a moment and bring in the joy.

Everybody loves him, his family, his old friends, his new friends, and people on the street who just heard his story, but Jesus loves him more than we can even fathom.

As he walks through the door to heaven his pain washes away and now he will forever be content. He will forever be joyful.

For us, tears will fall from our cheeks, but we must remember that he is in a better place and that he will always love us and we will forever love him, and that it will only be a short amount of time before his family and friends can run and embrace him.

We love you and always will.

Portland, I’m coming….I Swear

This weekend I flew for the first time alone to Spokane, Washington. I spent two days at Eastern Washington University and then two days at Washington State University. I’m supposed to be at school right now, in class, but I’m not. Why you ask? Well I’m not skipping, I swear. Currently I’m on a shuttle from Pullman, Washington to Spokane, Washington.

Last night as I was getting ready to leave for the Pullman airport it started snowing, like really snowing. So with my luck my flight was canceled. It was okay though because I got a ticked for this morning and luckily the snow was supposed to melt. The key word here is “supposed.” As you have probably already inferred, the snow didn’t melt. My flight was canceled once again.

A nice college boy offered to drive me to Spokane so I could catch a flight there, I politely declined. So now I’m sitting here, on a shuttle, on my way to Spokane in hopes that I can catch a flight to Portland.

This shuttle is pretty uneventful except for the internal jokes I keep making about the freshman at University of Washington. I’m creeping, hardcore. He has his girlfriend saved in his phone as “My Boo Thangg <3<3." He's also in a fraternity. Fun stuff.

Jokes about "frat boy" and listening to All American Rejects, this is the life.

Portland, I hope to see you soon.

Blinded By My Love For You (Addition)

For so long I would just let it go
Killing me inside you would never know
Blinded by my love for you
I wouldn’t let it all fall through

Hurtful words suppressed inside
I couldn’t see what they implied
I think I knew it all along
That the love you felt for me was wrong

For you it became a thing of lust
For me it became a lack of trust
I wanted you to want my heart
But all you wanted was our hearts apart

I continued to let you tell me lies
Till finally I heard my own cries
I wouldn’t let you make me weep
For I knew I deserved a love more deep

Nights of tears have slowly gone by
The sunny days now say hi
My journey took me to this place
Where now all I feel is love and grace

I’m beautiful, strong and able
This sight in which you are not capable
I know this now no matter what
I know this now that our doors have shut