What are you going to be when you grow up?
It’s a cute question when you’re six years old, but by the time you’re 16, it’s suddenly something that needs serious attention. Even though you won’t be taking up a profession for a few years, there are some things you can do now to help you decide what career you’d like to have in the future.
Check Out Your Talents
By the time you reach high school, you will probably have discovered that you’re better in some subjects than in others.
Do you have a flair for art? Does math come easily to you? Are you a real bookworm? Do you like working with your hands? Those talents can help guide you in deciding which areas to study.
Follow Your Interests
Maybe you really enjoy debate. Or you like computer games. There are occupations that take advantage of these types of interests.
Offer some of your free time to organizations that need help. Become a volunteer at a hospital, and you might discover that you’d like a medical career. Offer to help with a summer recreation program, and see if you enjoy working with children. Help coach a junior team. You may find that you have a talent for that.
Get an Education
No matter what direction your interests lead, education is important. If a university isn’t for you, attend a community college or trade school to learn a skill. If you have the opportunity, take a variety of jobs. You can learn a lot about what you like and what you don’t like to do by trying different things.
Talk about ‘note’ worthy, the Beardsmore sisters of Burton-on-Trent Ward, Lichfield England Stake, sing, dance and play almost everything, everywhere.
Olivia, 17, and Clare, 15, often sing duets at stake conference and other events, and they play a number of instruments, including flute, recorder, piano, double bass, and guitar.
Then there’s the stage. The sisters have appeared in major school productions, private drama groups, and pantomimes. Clare has played leading roles such as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.
Add dance to their repertoire. They excel in ballet, ballroom, modern, and Latin American dancing. Both have achieved gold-level awards.
Netball, hockey, service, and art round out their interests. “During my spare time, I’m a member of the Burton Crime Prevention Panel,” says Olivia. “We aim to lower the crime rate amongst young people in our town. The panel has asked me to design a poster for them.” The sisters’ lives are most harmonious.
Perfect attendance. That’s the goal the Pritchard family goes for, even if it means getting up at 5:00 A.M. every school morning.
Heidi, who has been president of her seminary class and all her Young Women classes, on the school yearbook staff, and secretary of her school’s chapter of Future Homemakers of America, completed all four years of seminary without missing once.
Brett, who has been a leader in student council, Key Club, and all his priesthood quorums, also graduated from seminary with a flawless attendance record.
Right behind them are their brother Todd, with two years of perfect attendance, and their sister Heather, who has been to every seminary class since she started a year ago.
The Pritchards are members of the Killeen First Ward, Killeen Texas Stake.
Fourteen-year-old Laurie Banks of the Madera Second Ward, Fresno California West Stake, has never been one to let a lack of years intimidate her. She learned to sew and started making her own prize-winning clothes at age ten. She began playing soccer at age eight and has since been captain of a boys’ soccer team and Most Valuable Player of her eighth-grade soccer team. She began taking dancing lessons at age five and is currently performing in a local dance company.
But most important of all, she has started doing missionary work, even before she is old enough to serve a full-time mission. Each night she reads the scriptures and prepares for the discussions she has with her friends at school. She believes you’re never too young to share the gospel.
Following in their dad’s fleet footsteps, David and Stuart Deacon are two of the top runners in England. And they both hope to run in the Olympics someday.
The goal is not too farfetched. David, a recently returned missionary, currently in police training, ran the 100 meters in the U.K. open championships with the top runners in the nation.
Stuart will have to wait a bit longer, though. He has clocked exceptional times in the 1,500 meters but has put his running career on hold to serve in the Belgium Brussels Mission.
“I feel that keeping the Word of Wisdom has been one of the major factors to our success in athletics,” says David.
Stuart agrees, and said, after winning numerous events at the Church All British Championships, “I was still recovering from mumps, and I’m convinced that because of obedience to the Word of Wisdom, my body was able to respond well to the priesthood blessing I received.”
It wasn’t an easy race, but Danny Wayne Maurer, 18, of Lewiston, Idaho, won it, and became Lewiston High School’s first LDS studentbody president. He was the only Latter-day Saint on the student council.
Of course, Danny is used to tough competition. He’s been on the varsity football and wrestling teams, and presently coaches coed softball. He hopes this will prepare him for his goal of becoming a history teacher and wrestling coach.
Danny, a priest and Life Scout, is working to receive his Eagle.
Blindness can’t stop 12-year-old Rhett Jones from doing just about anything else his fellow deacons do. On Sundays you’ll find him in the Riverdale Second Ward, Ogden Utah Riverdale Stake, passing the sacrament and collecting fast offerings with the rest of his quorum.
In the summer you’ll find him at Scout camp, where he earned seven merit badges last year. His target shooting was incredible. He was able to hit a tin can target 23 of 25 times by having a leader ring a bell in the area of the target, then shooting toward the sound.
Rhett realizes it is especially important to set an example for his younger brother Josh, who is also blind.
Robert Minnick, a deacon from the Jordan Fourth Ward, Salt Lake Jordan Stake, has found a unique way to help others. He cares for, loves, and trains a puppy for 12 months, without pay, then gives the dog back after the end of the year never to see it again. The dogs are bred to be guide dogs for the blind, and Robert and his family have been chosen by the Guide Dogs for the Blind Kennel in San Rafael, California, to perform this service.
It isn’t easy to give up a dog you’ve become attached to, but Robert realizes there are people out there who need the dogs desperately. He has found a way to be involved in a worthwhile service project 24-hours a day.
Anne Billings of the Independence Second Ward, Independence Missouri Stake, graduated in the top 5 percent of her class, was president of the stake seminary and concert choir, and played the lead role of Maria in the school production of The Sound of Music. She also works in the Family History Center, serves as the ward organist, and recently received her Young Women Recognition.
But the best thing about Anne is that she’s so nice. She shows love for her ward members and friends in all sorts of little ways and in a number of big ways too, like sharing the gospel with them. She never hesitates to do missionary work, both by example and by sharing her testimony.
Robert Gilliam, 17, of the Marion Ward, Asheville North Carolina Stake, is equally at home on a skateboard or a surfboard. But what he really excels in is school, seminary, and Scouting, proving that you can have a wide range of fun interests. Among those interests is mission preparation. Robbie is excited about serving as soon as he turns 19.