*student profiles from school year 2014-2015
When it came to summer plans, Hawes Collier made his own experiences happen. He said, “I spoke with an employee at the Hackney company and asked if they had any shadowing programs available for the summer. Everything happened from there.”
This initiative led to a summer internship in engineering for Hawes, and a chance to work with various elements of the job. Hawes said, “I worked with 3D modeling software and helped design some basic things. I also helped with assembling a few products, which was fun.”
Hawes explained that the internship allowed him to experience the world of engineering and set him on the path to NCSU next year. “The experience showed me what I liked to do and that I really enjoy engineering and the work environment.”
Another passion for Hawes was collecting and viewing old movies. “I first got involved when my grandfather, Dempsey Hodges, left his collection to me. I have added many of my own movies to the collection since then.”
Dempsey Hodges was a well known APA football coach and Board member, and his wife was an elementary teacher at the Academy. Hawes credited his grandfather with inciting his interest in WWII movies, but also enjoyed “newer” movies as well.
As for his diverse interests, Hawes said, “Engineering is a mix of creativity and logic. Movies are a creative outlet for me. Its’ not such a huge leap.”
Lauren Jones was most often found in the art room, working on her latest project. She said, “One of the great things about the art department at Parrott is the structure, which allows you to pursue your own ideas.”
Lauren could not remember a time she had not been interested in art, but broadened her horizons after taking art classes at school. Her talents quickly became obvious to others and she was asked to sell several of her pieces that were showcased at the school art show. This led to more paying offers for Lauren’s artwork, whether it be pencil drawings of a child’s photograph or an acrylic painting of a landscape. Lauren said, “Drawing a child’s portrait is a challenge; I like to make sure I get the details just right.”
Recently, Lauren signed on to created illustrations for a children’s book being written by Mrs. Moye, who said, “Lauren’s talent is well known around school. She was the perfect candidate to help me with this project.”
Although she was undecided about which college she would attend next year, Lauren was certain that art would be a part of her future. She said, “I’ve learned in my experiences at Parrott that it’s OK to make mistakes. If you mess up, you just wait for the paint to dry and start over.”
The current owner of three dogs, one cat, and an unknown amphibian that was eventually released into a lake, Brendan Kerlin was planning to follow his passion for animals with a major in veterinary medicine. “Tufts University in Boston would be my first choice of schools, but I’m still not sure where I’ll be next year,” he said.
Brendan began volunteering at animal shelters in Kinston and Goldsboro in ninth grade and quickly saw the problems faced by many shelters. “Lots of dogs are put down every day,” he said. “There is not enough room for all the animals picked up.”
Brendan was also excited about hiking, another venture he began as a freshman. Through a program called Moondance, Brendan has hiked places as far away as Spain, Switzerland, France and Italy. He said, “It gives you a great feeling of accomplishment and is a huge adrenaline rush.”
Although Brendan was still unsure of where he was headed to college, he felt that his time at Parrott had prepared him well. “AP Biology helped me to realize that I enjoyed living science and that I wanted to pursue a career in that area,” he said.
As for future pets, Brendan imagined owning an Irish Wolfhound. He said, “It’s a dog that looks like a horse; why not?”
Kaelyn Mohrfeld began showing goats at the age of five and started what would become an enterprise for the whole family. “I had some friends in my community who were involved with showing animals, so I tried it and I like it. My family eventually built a barn, and we accumulated more animals over the years. The whole family is involved,” she said.
Raising and training the goats took up much of Kaelyn’s time after school. “I work with them about two hours every day,” she said.
Prior to goat shows, the animals were given extra practice time and were washed and trimmed. Kaelyn competed in approximately ten circuit shows per year, as well as a spring livestock show, but the most important exhibition was the NC State Fair. “That’s the really big event that we work for all year,” she said.
With two Overall Wether Grand Champions under her belt, all the hard work seemed to pay off. Kaelyn planned to pursue an agricultural science major at NCSU, but said she would always have animals in some way or another. She said, “The best part about raising animals is being able to watch them grow and learn. I‘ve learned the importance of being responsible for something other than myself.”
Michael & Madi Finizio
Brother-sister team Michael and Madi Finizio share many of the same interests, including a love of theater and a devotion to the surrounding community. They both became devoted to the theater at an early age. “I started acting in school plays in fifth grade; Madi started in sixth grade,” Michael said.
Madi said, “I have been working with the theater program since elementary school, but I have most enjoyed One Act Play competitions. Being successful there for the last few years was a lot of fun.”
Working on stage presented its challenges, especially when coupled with the rigorous academic schedule of both students. Madi said, “The hardest thing for me was handling the long rehearsals and training myself not to laugh on stage.”
Michael agreed that there were challenges on stage, such as wearing “guy makeup,” but recalled some of his favorite characters. “The best was Dr. Cantaloupe in Goldilocks on Trial,” he said.
When not busy with rehearsals, both students found time for community service. Mary’s Soup Kitchen in Kinston became a favorite place to volunteer for them both. “I like to go in on Sundays and I try to help with Saturdays as well. I volunteer every day during the summer break,” Michael said.
Madi was enthusiastic about service work as well, including their weekly Sunday School class for fourth graders, which the two taught in Spanish and English. She said, “Service work helped me to build people skills and to learn how to take the initiative.”
Michael said, “I’ve learned that if you are going to do something, you need to fully commit yourself. Even on the days that you feel bad, there is probably someone else who feels worse.”