Derek Sowards — 2019 High Schoolers Who Will Change The World


Derek Sowards
Spanish Fork High School
Parents Lori & Kurt Sowards

With no previous drama training, it was out of character for Derek Sowards to audition for his school’s spring musical. But his role in Newsies developed his range as an actor and as a person. Bravo!

Mini-resume Mr. Spanish Fork, 4.0 GPA, 27 ACT, student council, high school musical.

Plans after high school Church mission in Quito, Ecuador.

Personal motto Do good.

Advice for freshmen Get out of your comfort zone. Don’t care what others think of you — do what makes you happy. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Advice for future self Call your mom and tell her you love her.

High school happiness Have a good friend group that challenges you to be better. Friends mold and shape us.

Guilty pleasure I’m obsessed with Otter Pops.

Challenges My freshman and sophomore year in football, I tore my ACL and broke my foot. I had to find new ways to apply myself to my school, which took my life down a totally different, better path.

Most common thing parents say to you Why won’t you answer my calls?

No. 1 thing learned in high school Popularity doesn’t mean a thing. No one will remember how popular you were, but they will remember how you treated them.

Derek, how will you change the world? One by one. I want to impact and brighten the lives of people around me through the way I treat them.

Greg Bennett

Greg Bennett is an editor and writer with Bennett Communications. His primary responsibilities are with Utah Valley Magazine and the company's custom publications division. He's the father of four children and has been married to his wife, Adria, for 19 years. Contact Greg at

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