A fiery sister My dad is from New Zealand and my mom is American, so they decided to split our time between the U.S. and New Zealand. I was born in Auckland, New Zealand and lived there until I was 4 …
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A fiery sister
My dad is from New Zealand and my mom is American, so they decided to split our time between the U.S. and New Zealand. I was born in Auckland, New Zealand and lived there until I was 4 when we moved to Golden. We’ve been back and forth since.
We returned to Golden my freshman year of high school and I graduated from Golden High School this past May.
I have an older sister, Kathryn, who graduated from Golden High School in 2016. She’s currently attending law school in New Zealand.
My sister is a big part of my life. When you move as much as we have, nothing is constant, but she is.
If fire could be defined in human form, it would be Kathryn. She’s the one who inspired me to get involved with political issues.
Finding a passion through Grace
I was extremely active in high school. My sophomore year, I started the environmental club. I was also involved with the Interact Club, the suicide prevention club called Sources of Strength and the animal advocacy club, among others. I was also a cheerleader.
I really enjoyed making a positive change in my school. My motto is leave every place better than you found it. If every single one of us made a pact to improve something, the world would be a better place.
I want to become a special education teacher but first I’m taking a gap year. Just a few of the things I’ll be doing in my gap year is working at an elephant orphanage in Thailand, teaching English in Ghana and working with a youth leadership program for girls in Belgium.
I found my passion of working with people with disabilities through my best friend Grace Zitoli. Grace had Down syndrome and we met in a unified P.E. class and became inseparable. Grace died on March 16 last year.
`It’s OK to not be OK’
I think it’s important for people to know the struggles I’ve faced. From the outside, my life looked picture-perfect, but nobody knew what I was going through.
I’ve struggled a lot with mental health. I was in and out of the hospital a lot last year because of suicide attempts. That’s something I try to be very open about to try to help other people see that it gets better, and that it’s OK to not be OK.
As a society, I think we hide our emotions from each other because they’re seen as a weakness. But I want people to know that every one of us struggles. We all have our individual battles and you never know what somebody’s going through. It’s important to be kind to everyone. Every single one of us can make a positive change.
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