Sharing stories to create a movement of outrospection and empathy.
Nia Pappas is a kindhearted person who always tries to bring out the best in other people. She is someone who views each day as a fresh start and a new challenge. She enjoys writing poetry and short stories, surfing pinterest for inspirational quotes, and baking anything that can satisfy your sweet tooth. When she’s not at school, you might find her at the park on the swings or watching Jeopardy with her dog. :)
Lauren spends hours in the pool because of swimming and water polo which she truly loves. She is very dedicated to what she does, for example, sports and academics. She plans to use her dedication on pursuing a career in engineering. She can be described as a faithful, caring, and ambitious girl who is happiest when surrounded by her friends and family.
“I don’t know what the hell I wanna be”. Despite societal pressure to have your whole life figured out by the time you are eighteen, Amad Ansari is perfectly comfortable with not having every step of his life perfectly calculated. He focuses on being the best version of himself. Amad is an avid reader. He enjoys nonfiction books about social justice and political theory. “I read to get to know the world better”. Amad brought his sophisticate aesthetic vision and rational way of looking at the world to the web page he created. In addition, Amad designed the VOW Class logo. Amad is a fiercely independent person that will undoubtedly continue social activism in the future.
Kortney Burkhardt is a senior here at Stagg. She is a small, very straightforward person, who says it like it is. She has been on the basketball team at Stagg her four years here. She has played soccer and softball for Stagg as well. She loves spending her weekends with her boyfriend Joe and her best friend Christina. She plans to study to be a Physical Education teacher in college.
In a perfect world, Sam Parson is a pirate that treks on dangerous voyages overseas and saves his crew from the formidable megalodon. But in this world, he is a regular kid who wants to attend the University of Miami and become a lawyer, just like his father. Sam like movies, basketball, the Miami Dolphins, and popcorn. He spends most of his time writing music and playing in different bands.
His name is Victor Manuel Torres. He is by far one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. He never fails to find something good when things go wrong. When ever he ends up in a hospital, he knows the bright side will be getting to drink an infinite number of apple juice boxes. He was very close to his grandparents. So at the time of their passing, he loves how his family hired a mariachi band for them.
Aside from being optimistic, Victor is also comical because his first thought when Stagg was having its gas leak 2 years ago, “Oh crap, did the cookies get burned?” After high school, he wants to attend Moraine Valley and be a mechanic because his love for cars is real. Never have I met a more rad human being.
“I am a trainwreck. I am a trainwreck 24/7. I’m more of a mess than anyone else. It’s hard for me to sleep so after a couple of days I’m literally insane. I can’t have anything without spilling it on myself-- coffee, paint, anything. I’m freezing cold all the time; I can’t dress for the weather. One time I spent a good thirty seconds trying to text someone without having my phone in my hand. Yikes.”
A Senior at Stagg, who cherishes moments at home with her family living at home with her little brother, older sister and parents. Her sister playing a strong role in her life, helping Margarita through many of her experiences as she grew up. She is very active in her schooling and extracurricular activities, being a part of Cross Country, Women's Soccer, Student Council. After high school Margarita wishes to major in Biology wanting to look into Science Technology Engineering and Math. Still indecisive of whether wanting to work in Special Education or in the Medical Field, Margarita is always willing to help.
Karolis Abrutis is an ambitious Stagg senior. He holds a huge passion for several different sports. These sports range from ballroom dancing to volleyball. He attended a private Lithuanian Cultural school while going to Public school for many years. Karolis believes that being from Europe but living here has brought him some great advantages. He is able to witness both sets of cultures through his own eyes, and he believes that that is something very valuable. Being the oldest in the family, as well as being the first one in his family to experience the education system in America, brings Karolis a lot of pressure to succeed.
Brittany Jarke is a senior here at Stagg. She likes being sassy, is quite beautiful, and enjoys tossing rifles, and sabres, and other dangerous items up in the air to catch while dancing around children who just happen to be playing their instruments on the football field. She enjoys spending hours upon hours binging-watching Once Upon a Time (the new season, because she has them recorded on her DVR and hasn’t seen any...yet). In regards to her hopes and dreams: “Short term: I’m hoping to receive some food sometime on the near future, and hopefully I don’t die before I get that food…” But in the long term, photography is a recreational activity that she wishes someday may become a legitimate career for her. But if it doesn’t, that is OK because she has a back-up plan…..becoming a lawyer. “I’m good at fighting for things, honestly. And I fight for what’s right, so why not then fight for people as they fight for their own rights? That seems very appealing to me.” Well, Brittany, I hope all your future dreams come true. Especially the food part.
Justyna loves chocolate. She loves her dog, and she loves her family. Justyna is heavily involved at Stagg and has a very hectic schedule. One of her favorite places in the world is her bed, and she cherishes moments where she can relax during her busy days. But Justyna is the furthest thing from lazy. She is extremely passionate about everything she does, and makes an impact in everything she is apart of. She is a hard-working student, and a leader on her poms team. Justyna is patient, intuitive, and always searching for a new challenge.
Michael is a senior at Stagg High School and he is a down to earth type of guy that will respect anyone that respects him. Although he hasn't mastered the guitar yet he's been taking lessons for awhile now pursuing his dream that one day he will be a guitarist. This man will seek anyway to become a better version of himself even if that does mean letting some things go. He enjoys being friends of many and your first impression when you sit down and talk to him will show that you can't just get enough of this guy.
Sarah “Berry” Snell is known for her kindness, generosity, and humor. Simply being around her can brighten your day. She is an involved P.E.O.P.E.L. tutor and makes the most of each day she has at Stagg. In her free time, she enjoys shopping, watching Law & Order on Netflix and spending time with her three younger brothers and dog. After high school, she plans on attending a four-year university and majoring in psychology.
“I’m trying to be less busy because I’m really stressed out with the lack of free time I have. My social life and friends are important to me, but I feel like I can’t include them in my life because unimportant things are filling their place in my life. I don’t even have time to sleep. Ugh, I’m tired. I haven't finished my coffee yet.”
A child born amongst the stars and planets. Someone who delves deeper into this world than most people. She cares about others and their stories. Peaceful, wise, optimistic, all can be used to describe this spirit child. Uses inspiration from the world around her to be an artist who draws reality and imagination.
What’s one thing you’re proud of?
"I’m proud of who I am today. I’ve gained more confidence in myself. I’m ready to seek new adventure. I’m ready to become a nurse."
Jamie Lynn Price- not to be confused with Jamie Lynn Spears- but what they do have in common is their first and middle name. Both of their singing careers never took off but they remain hopeful. Jamie’s rap and jingle career is sure to blossom. Although Jamie is a tad awkward at times she has friends of plenty. She really is the one friend you need to get yourself through life. She’s the most caring, compassionate, friendly, funny, open minded, upbeat, and wild person you will ever know. Her love for coffee can not be put into words and she's all around just the best person ever...If you want to know why she smiles a lot it's because it's worth it.
“What's one word you’d use to describe yourself?”
What's a word for protective, but over yourself? I think it starts with a P. I don't know--reserved. I keep to myself.
Despite her self-professed "reserved" nature, Jess has been such an asset to the class conducting interviews in a way that makes her interviewees feel valued and comfortable. Jess has also consistently reminded us of the importance of our project with her insightful reflections on the ways in which the interviews have changed her own perspective about people, Stagg High School and even herself.
Joe Van Nieuwenhuyse
Joe Van Nieuwenhuyse describes his childhood as, “ Pretty normal, I like playing sports and stuff, that’s mostly what I did”. Currently he plays baseball and football here at stagg, and he played hockey in the past. Joe has been to multiple states and he’s even been to Canada.
He says that, “the trips made me have a lot more experiences”. Overall, Joe is a pretty well rounded person, and a real team player.
Habib is an honest, kind, and passionate individual. He loves spending his time with friends or playing sports. His passion for being a positive influence in others’ lives is evidenced by his delightful personality. Habib looks to use these valuable character traits to pursue a successful life after high school.
Megan Peterson. One of the most typical names in America, but she is far from a typical person. Megan does it all. She shoots guns, breeds peacocks, and farms bees. You can almost always catch her and her fam up to some interesting sort of shenanigans, like mattress sledding on a go-kart. Dangerous? Of course. But boring? Heck nope! Megan’s a people person and one of the most positive people you’ll ever meet, and she makes sure to surround herself with people who are just as impulsive and optimistic as she is. If Megan had to describe her life in a single quote, it would be, “Life’s a party, rock your body.”
New to the class and semester, Heather is already jumping right in volunteering to conduct interviews and learning the ins and outs of transcribing and editing. We are so happy to have her and love the enthusiasm she brings to our class community.
Happy, hurt, and strong are the three words I would use to describe Jessica Rupp. She’s had a passion for skating for eleven years; it all started because of her cousin, and now it’s become her getaway, her life. Throughout the years she has suffered the loss of her grandpa that was particularly tough because she never got to say goodbye. While everybody at Stagg was going through a hard time due to the loss of Ms. Ogarek, Jess was also going through a moment of suffering, she had just found out that her brother was in the hospital and feared that once again she didn’t get to say her goodbyes. Fortunately her brother made it through, and when she got to see him the first thing she did was hug him and say “I love you” with tears in her eyes. Deep under all the suffering there's a happy and funny person, who believes “food is bae.” She uses skating to forget about the constant fear she has of losing a loved one and not saying goodbye; she has learned how to live with that fear and that is what has made her a stronger person.
“Skating, skating has made me the person I am today, if I didn’t have skating I don't know where I’d be, I’d probably be dead.”
Juan Fajardo is a senior at Stagg High School. He has been to a total of two different high schools, and has moved about six times. For three years he lived in Mexico, currently he lives with some family in Bridgeview. His mother lives in Mexico with his two year old sister that he has not yet met. He saw his mom three years ago, and wants to visit again. He plans to go visit her during winter break.
Alexis--a super nerd to the core. She loves all things fantastical and would love to get to know you. She is genuinely interested in hearing everyone's story over a nice cup of hot chocolate and is sure to make you feel comfortable and positive about telling your tale. Since she’ll find out all about you, here’s some background info on her. She is an active participant in all areas of Drama, Choir, and Speech. She loves to read, is happily tutoring in the P.E.O.P.E.L gym class, and enjoys swimming. From the ordinary mundane of your lives to the unique part of your routines, Alexis is ready to listen.
In addition to her unending commitment to band and theater, Kelsey is an amazing contributor to the class! (That is, when she isn't trying to hide her face from documentary maker Ken, of course). Not only did she lead the charge to get theater crew to build us our awesome interview booth for Mix It Up Day, her talents with audio editing helped produce a first quarter project that even Ira Glass would approve of. We can't wait to see what else Kelsey surprises us with!