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Suzanne Buchholz, Reporter
Running Start student Katja Whelan is working to become an engineer when she graduates but has an even bigger dream in mind that she’d love to someday achieve – to become a professional singer.
Although Whelan isn’t sure this dream will ever be realized, it isn’t stopping her from pursuing her passion. She’s in concert choir and vocal ensemble at Rogers High School, and while she said she doesn’t like getting up early for it, she enjoys being part of both clubs.
“I just always really liked singing,” Whelan said.
Whelan was interested in choir for a while and was able to join during seventh grade. She wasn’t able to join earlier due to her parents’ work schedules preventing them from being able to pick her up. She’s been in choir ever since, and on Jan. 14 she sang the national anthem at her high school’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day assembly.
Whelan said this year has been one of her most active in terms of singing. She made it into vocal ensemble at her school as well as All-Northwest Choirs. The concert choir she’s in will attend a convention for the Washington Music Educators Association at Central Washington University.
Whelan’s been in many performances and competitions but said that what she considers her greatest achievement was being given the Most Inspirational Award in 11th grade. The award was given to her by senior Katie Ragan, whom Whelan said she looked up to and loved singing alongside. The award was a ribbon that she said she loves wearing.
“I’m able to wear the big, blue bow quite proudly every concert and choir activity we have, remembering all those who wore it before me,” Whelan said.
Whelan said most of her other interests tend to be artistic. In addition to singing she likes writing, sketching, photography and spending time on the Internet. She partakes in these hobbies when she’s not busy with choir performances and practices.
Whelan said choir has made a huge impact on her life. She loves it because it forces her out of her comfort zone and helps her overcome shyness, and it’s been a fun experience. She recalled going on a road trip to Seattle with her choir for a tour last year, and that it’s a memory because it was such an experience, and she enjoyed spending time with the choir.
“I don’t think there’s been very many, if any, dull moments in choir,” Whelan said
Her varied interests are reflected in the clubs she’s involved in at Pierce as well as in high school. When she has the time, she participates in the Gay Straight Alliance and the Writing Club and would like to join the Star Gazing Club. At Rogers, she’s involved in the Japanese and Art clubs and wants to join the Hiking Club. At Puyallup High School, she’s involved in the robotics program.
Whelan plans to earn her transferrable credits at Pierce College Puyallup in the near future. Once she’s done, she wants to attend the University of Washington and major in engineering.
“(I want) some sort of job where I don’t have to sit at a desk all day and stare into a computer,” Whelan said. “One where I’m up and using my hands fairly frequently.” [/responsivevoice]
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