Freshman swimmer Katie McLaughlin (14) didn’t waste any time testing the waters at JSerra, making a splash with her Olympic trials qualification for the summer 2012 Olympic games in London. Taking a quick breather McLaughlin sat down with JSerra Blog to talk about her goals in and out of the pool, along with the pressures of coach and mom Mary’s Olympic success.
What made you choose JSerra?
I really like the fact that it’s a smaller school and the community here. I also shadowed and it felt right, I’m looking forward to going to JSerra, especially swim.
How did you qualify for the Olympic trials?
I had a qualifying meet at Stanford and made it by half a second, which is considered a pretty big deal in swim.
Do you feel any pressure because of all the success your mom has had making it the Olympics in swimming?
(Laughing) Everyone always asks me that, but I don’t feel any pressure. My mom has always been super supportive, if anything I think I put more pressure on myself.
What motivates or inspires you to keep improving in swim?
One of my friends, Jesse (12), was diagnosed with a brain tumor and can no longer swim. She has such a great and positive attitude and although she can’t swim she helps others with tumors, and never asks for anything in return. She has this motto that she lives by that I have adopted as my own, “Never Ever Give Up.”
The Legends of China Presidential Pioneer Award for high school students were awarded at Mass with ten recipients, of this leadership award.
Awarded to those who have demonstrated exemplary leadership initiative and have taken significant action as ambassadors of world peace.
Ten JSerra Students received recognition for their work with the Legends of China. Including Elizabeth Evers who is awarded the Superior Award for creating the winning 1st prize in high school category, silk banner, volunteered in the LOC Silk Road to Future Ambassadors of Hope program to teach Chinese students with disabilities and served as an Ambassador of Peace in The Silk Road to the Future program. The silk banner represents global peace and the connection between China and other countries through the silk road.
Courtney Avila, awarded the Excellent Award for presenting a keynote speech on global leadership to 500 top Chinese High School students, volunteered in the LOC Silk Road to Future Ambassadors of Hope program to teach Chinese students with disabilities and served as an Ambassador of Peace in The Silk Road to the Future program.
Ashleigh Luschei also awarded the Excellent Award for presenting a keynote speech on global leadership inspiring students with disabilities that they can become leaders despite their obstacles, volunteered in the LOC Silk Road to Future Ambassadors of Hope program to teach Chinese students with disabilities and served as an Ambassador of Peace in The Silk Road to the Future program.
Also recognized with the bronze medal honors are Riley Houser, Alexa McBride, Michael Salzle, Steven Summers, Savannah Luschei, Ian Farrell and Shanelle Bennet.
Legends of China is a non profit, non governmental organization that strives to build positive relationships between students from the United States and China. This past year, 10 JSerra students, as the pioneers, participated in the first Silk Road to the Future program for high schools.
Congratulations to Kirsty Hibbard for winning the Cox Cares Conservation Champions. Hibbard was nominated by JSerra
Counselor Olivia Huie, thus becoming a finalist after a long evaluation process by Cox Executives, to then be voted on by the community. After weeks of voting and many coming close Hibbard was able to grant The Ecology Center $1,000 in her name on behalf of Cox to go towards their green efforts in the San Juan Capistrano Community.
“I loved volunteering here my family is involved and we have all gotten really close to this cause, I’m just glad I cold help them out doing what I love and care about,” Hibbard said.
For many high school students, current events amount to nothing more than dating gossip and voting for prom king and queens. Volunteering can often be something that simply helps make a college application more impressive.
Inspired by her brother, stricken with mitochondrial disease, Avila has been volunteering since she was 10-years-old at Special Camp for Special Kids in San Juan Capistrano, where she works with physically and mentally disabled children. On the other side of the generational spectrum, Courtney plays bingo once a month at the Del Obispo Terrace senior living center.