Jennifer Reid did not always like to perform, but you would never know that to watch her today.
She has overcome her fear of speaking and recently won the California state championship in the competition for dramatic interpretation of original prose and poetry. “Three years ago, I was terribly shy,” says Jennifer. “But I signed up for a speech elective, and once I started competing—and winning—I gained my confidence.”
Besides the honor of winning the state title, she was recognized for being the only freshman in the history of her high school to do so.
Jennifer serves as Mia Maid president in the Laurelglen Ward, Bakersfield California South Stake.
Don’t try to leave the house or building you are in during a quake. Take cover under a desk or table or under the arch of a doorway.
Put on shoes before moving around. There is likely to be a lot of broken glass.
After the tremors stop, leave the building, but move some distance away to avoid danger from collapsing walls.
If outdoors, move away from buildings and utility wires. Many injuries result from falling debris.
If driving a vehicle, pull over as soon as possible and stay in the car until the tremors stop.
Don’t light matches or candles in a building after an earthquake. Put out all fires. Turn off gas valves only if you are sure you know how to do it.
At 14, Ken Israelsen, a member of the Glenbard Ward, Naperville Illinois Stake, is well on his way to achievement. He has earned his Eagle Scout Award and graduated from junior high with a citation for academic achievement. He also plays piano and drums. He participates in home-study seminary and serves as a counselor in his teachers quorum presidency.
Youth in the Cornwall Branch of the Montreal Quebec Mt. Royale Stake are willing workers in their community.
Recently they participated in Ontario’s annual Pitch-In campaign to clean up their province. They met at a park in the city to pick up litter and debris. Several of the youth participated, and their picture was on the front page of the local newspaper.
The youth in the Cornwall Branch try to participate in at least one service project every month. In this project they were joined by people all over the province in an effort to keep the country clean and educate people about littering.
Joseph Spallino of the Makati Villages Branch, Makati Philippines Stake, responded to an emergency situation and aided 55 families in reconstructing their homes as part of his Eagle Scout project.
When a typhoon unexpectedly destroyed homes in the Bicol area of the Philippines, Joseph saw people in need of help and jumped right in. Joseph organized a project that helped many families get material to rebuild their homes after this disaster.
Much of the money he collected had been raised by Scouts and other youth who worked together to contribute to the bigger project. Then he contacted local building contractors and requested help from them. This resulted in more than $2,000 worth of donated building materials in addition to the $1,460 in purchased materials.
Through his organizational skills and his willingness to help, Joseph not only earned his Eagle Scout Award, but he learned more about what it feels like to comfort those in need.
Even though Tracy Mullen, a Mia Maid in the Yorktown Ward, Newport News Virginia Stake, has a hectic schedule, she works hard to keep balance in her life. At school she lettered in softball as a freshman and made the varsity basketball team as a sophomore.
She is involved in music and was the accompanist for her school play Oklahoma! besides giving piano lessons at home and playing the flute, oboe, and xylophone.
Sixteen-year-old Tracy also studies hard and has made the honor roll in school. In her spare time she referees children’s basketball.
Tracy has served as seminary president and as ward organist.
Kelly Ricketts, president of his teachers quorum in the Courtenay Branch, Victoria British Columbia Stake, steadfastly refuses to box on Sunday, although it is one of the busiest days for the boxing club he belongs to.
Instead of training on Sundays, Kelly chooses to practice at other times with both his father and his younger brother. Despite this sacrifice, Kelly has had much success in boxing. He won a bronze medal in the Canadian Junior National Amateur Boxing Championships and is both the provincial and Golden Gloves champion.
Kelly also enjoys wrestling and is on the merit list at his high school.
Fifteen-year-old Rachel Stanton is a great athlete. She was chosen to play netball for Shropshire county at the Under 21 All England Counties Tournament in London.
She was also chosen to play badminton at Nottinghill for the Under 16 All England team. At school she is the House Sports Captain, which means she is in charge of hockey, swimming, tennis, rounders, netball, and badminton.
In addition, Rachel has passed Grade 6 piano exams and sometimes plays the piano for Primary and sacrament meeting in the Wolverhampton Ward, Lichfield Stake.
Brandon Bigelow, 17, is a good friend and good student and an active member of the Church. He excelled in track, where he set a school record for the 200-yard sprint, and in football. He earned straight A’s, and was well liked by his classmates. In his freshman and sophomore years he was chosen “Best All-Around Guy” in his class.
Brandon is also an Eagle Scout and takes every opportunity he has to express his testimony of the Church and his love for the Savior. He is a good friend to his classmates in the Modesto Fifth Ward, Modesto California Stake, where he recently provided a lot of comfort to a friend whose sister was killed in an automobile accident.
Although Kristy Ann Trammell, 12, is not an art student, a painting that she entered in the Texas Parent Teachers Association Wonders of the World Art Contest took third prize. Kristy named the painting “The Wonder of the Birth of Baby Shamu” because she was inspired to paint it after seeing the birth of a killer whale on television.
Along with her new interest in art, Kristy plays the trumpet in her middle school band and is a straight-A student. She is a Beehive in the Kingwood Texas Ward, Kingwood Texas Stake.
Three teenage members of the O’Dell family are finding success at their high school. Rane O’Dell was named Student of the Year at Show Low High School. She was a Rotary Exchange Student to Brazil, a cheerleader, and an active member of the Spanish and drama clubs.
Her younger brother, Garrett, participates in both wrestling and football. He maintained the highest grade point average on both varsity teams and was given the Scholar-Athlete Award.
Kashia O’Dell excels in softball. She was named to the All Division First Team where she played catcher. She also set a school record for the most over-the-fence home runs.
The O’Dells are members of the Show Low Second Ward, Show Low Arizona Stake.
Loyd Rennaker of the Darby Ward, Stevensville Montana Stake, serves as seminary president and first assistant in the priests quorum.
At school Loyd has served as student-body president and vice-president, as well as president of the Honor Society. He is an Academic All-American and received a superior rating from the Montana Council of Teachers of Mathematics state contest.
He is also an outstanding athlete and has lettered in football, basketball, and track. As a senior he was named the most valuable player on the football team, as well as all-conference quarterback and safety.
Loyd has earned his Eagle Scout Award and enjoys hiking, fishing, and hunting. He is looking forward to serving a mission when he turns 19.
by Janet Sorensen
The young members of the Church in Sao Paulo, Brazil, know how to celebrate holidays. One of the biggest holidays in Brazil is Carnaval, a three-day celebration where parades and dancing take place at all hours of the day and night. It is a time when anything goes, and morals seem to be quickly forgotten.
But the LDS youth of Sao Paulo have a better way to celebrate. Every year during Carnaval, the members plan a youth conference away from the city, so the youth can enjoy three days of recreation, learning, and spiritual activities.
Last year they went to the original Sao Paulo stake center (there are now 11 stakes there). It is located at a complex outside of the city, along with the temple and the missionary training center. The group stayed in dormitories, and though they could see the skyscrapers of the city, they were far from the drunken parties and wild people.
For Independence Day, these youth chose sites within their stake boundaries that needed to be cleaned up. All worked together to plant trees, repair curbs, and generally clean the areas. On another Independence Day, they planted more than 400 trees that were donated by the city government. It seemed an impossible task, but they finished the project in half a day because everyone helped.
These Brazilian youth know the best way to celebrate: put the teachings of the gospel into action and let the joy shine through.