Power to the People

BV Students Share Embarrassing Stories

ashley pinkham, 11: “At the end of a [softball] tryout, the coach gathered a group of girls and told us we could never play at the highest level of competitive softball and that we should find new positions to play. I left that tryout crying and feeling so down on myself. I later tried out for a different team at the same level of play. After leaving that day, my dad received a phone call immediately asking if I would like a spot on that team. That call forever changed my life.”

jenna mccarty, 10: “When I went into auditions [for “Grease”] I was terrified but also knew that if I just went in and had fun, I would do my best. That night I got a callback and went in to read for my dream role. When the cast list came out and I had gotten the role, I felt like I could do anything because I overcame my nerves and stress.”


olivia toles, 12: “It was really hard to find motivation to do school work when my mom died last year, and the only way I could force myself to do all of my make-up work was thinking, ‘I have to do this for college.’ I hung her diploma from Brown University on my wall and used that as a reminder of what I was trying to do. Getting into the [University of Minnesota] took a huge load off my shoulders, and it’s the first time I’ve felt like I could breathe a little bit from the insane stress and pressure I was under last year to make it through.”


katrina doherty, 12: “I felt empowered when I brought the program Delete Blood Cancer to BV. I was able to get as many people registered in our first year of the drive as the other schools in our district got after several years. It was really cool to see how many people were willing to help out.”


alan karst, 12: “I feel most empowered when I’m in a huddle with my team before a cross country race. One or two of the guys will give a speech reminding us of all the hard work we’ve put in so we can be successful in that moment. I feel invincible on the starting line waiting for the race to begin.”

ryan jacobs, 10: “I’ve told my story of fighting leukemia at lots of events growing up, but Relay [For Life] was really special because I got to share my story with my peers and write and perform a song for everyone. Music is such a huge part of my life, and being able to share such a meaningful message through something I love made it unforgettable. The song I wrote inspired me to write a musical about childhood cancer that I’m currently working on. So I guess I haven’t lost that sense of empowerment yet, and I owe it all to everyone at Relay who made it so special.”

rachel ma, 10: “In middle school, I was having trouble in performing a jump in [figure] skating. I was inconsistently completing the jump the week of the competition, which made me really nervous, but I ended up landing the jump when I was competing and beating my personal best. It made me feel as if I could do anything with enough practice.”


kate boerger, 12: “Sophomore year, I was selected to be captain for volleyball from my other teammates. It made me feel empowered knowing that my teammates thought I could help lead the team.”


salah mirza, 11: “I felt empowered the first time I ran a cross country 5K.  I had never run distance before in my life and was so nervous that I thought I wouldn’t even make it across the finish line.”