By Jeanette Bennett, utahvalley360.com
Meridian’s Kelly Hennessey (see cover) wants to be an actress. James Hutchings (Lehi High School) reaches out to those with special needs — something that others who scored a 34 on their ACT may see as beneath them. Orem High School’s Jenessa Taylor has a heart condition — but when you meet her you are amazed by her larger-than-life heart for those in need.
Our 14 high schoolers this year are no different than other batches we’ve highlighted in the past five years. In other words, they are all different.
This is the sixth year we have asked the valley’s high schools to participate by nominating a senior who is most likely to change the world — for the better, mind you. And each year, the schools help us gather a group who range from life-of-the-party to quiet confidence. Some students are well-known and others may surprise you. Every spring when we put together this article, I come away with a renewed appreciation for the diversity in our youth and with a new goal to enjoy the variety of adults in my life.
It’s true that Utah Valley doesn’t rank high in the racial diversity category, but we do have a broad range of talents and interests. Isn’t it great we have the Osmonds who brought world-class entertainers to our valley? But isn’t it also wonderful that we have top-notch professors at BYU and UVSC who train tomorrow’s scientists and business executives? And aren’t we glad we have chefs at the Harvest Restaurant, Chef’s Table and other yummy places who prepare creative dishes we enjoy as we celebrate anniversaries, make business deals and entertain out-of-town guests? If everyone was a performer or a restaurateur, no one would be in the audience or at the dining table. Everyone can find a different way to contribute.
Our pull-out mini-magazine titled Valley Trails highlights the passion of Dave Lewis and others who are determined for our area to become known as the healthiest place in the nation. We are fortunate to have someone with this unique pursuit in our midst.
All of the variety in the county makes our job at Utah Valley Magazine both do-able and enjoyable. In this issue, you’ll meet three Utah Valley families that have turned their pain into power. You’ve seen them teary at news conferences, and now you can see them look for the rainbows in their lives.
In the next few pages, you’ll also find hundreds of original ideas for an exciting summer in Utah Valley. Refer to the pull-out calendar throughout the hot months as you try to eliminate “I’m bored” from your household.
Whatever you do, make today different than yesterday. And appreciate those around you who are doing the same (but different) thing.