May 1, 2023
Caleb Haney (9)
Westfield Spirit - From left to right, Drew Collins (12), Nora Flickinger (11), Owen Flynn (12), and Caleb Haney (9) are ecstatic to facilitate the Hoco Fest this past September.
Q: Why do you think it’s important to serve your community?
A: I think it’s important to serve my community to help others individually and the community as a whole.
Q: What has been your favorite opportunity or event that you’ve been a part of this year?
A: My favorite [event] this year was being a part of student government and [planning] Sadie Hawkins and Homecoming. I also have loved sports. I have participated in cross country, track, and lacrosse.
Q: How has your freshman year experience been, and what’s some advice you’d give to incoming freshmen?
A: I feel like my freshmen year experience has been pretty good. I would advise freshmen to explore… different clubs and classes, so they can find what they are passionate about. I would also so not do what I did, which was over-scheduling myself with activities and homework. This caused some stress [for] me that I would not recommend to anyone. Just try to have fun and explore!
Asha Adhikari (10)
Taking Action - From left to right, Zoe Strahl (10), Elizabeth Schuth (10), Asha Adhikari (10), and JT Armstrong (10) volunteer at Gleaners Community Food Bank and help feed 557 households.
Q: What inspired Project Hope, and what is the purpose of it?
A: I always knew that I wanted service to be a big part of my life, as my family members were public servants. I always really admired and appreciated that. Project Hope came to be after I heard a particularly inspiring speech about one man’s journey with homelessness, and I figured that if he could come back from such a difficult situation, I could also do something to try and help. My purpose with Project Hope was to start action-based volunteering because I wanted people to go out and see the people they are helping and hopefully gain understanding. It was very important to me that I bring further awareness to struggles that might have been behind the scenes before.
Q: What has been your experience with speech and debate, and what would you tell someone that’s interested?
A: Speech and Debate has helped me build confidence in my ability to articulate ideas and know that what I have to say is important. It’s a special moment to have everyone in the room listening to you and hopefully hearing something they find impactful. To anyone interested in joining speech and debate, get started as soon as possible. It’s ok not to know what you’re doing at first. I definitely didn’t. It’s a very wonderful environment, as you meet a lot of other passionate, creative young people, and their experiences really help you figure out how to best find your own voice.
Q: Are there any exciting opportunities in the upcoming year you are excited for?
A: I’m very excited and feel incredibly lucky to have made it to Nationals in Speech and Debate! I’ll be going to Arizona this summer with a few others on my team. It’s an honor to be competing with kids who I know have worked very hard to get where they are and all have fascinating stories to tell.
Bahar Djour (11)
Family First - Bahar Djour (11) is deeply grateful for his loving family while attending the Student of the Month appreciation meeting.
Q: What are you involved in and outside of school?
A: The involvements that I take pride in are Academic Super Bowl, Service Over Self Club, Student Government as Junior Class president and newly elected Senior Class president, Track and Field, National Honors Society, Muslim Student Association, and Best Buddies club. These involvements encompass what I do in and outside of school. I find it very helpful to be a part of many clubs and involvements because of the experience, community, and engagements that each brings along. I am grateful to be a part of all.
Q: What would you say is your main goal or passion behind serving?
A: My passion in serving is trying to live up to my full potential. I try to do everything in my power to be the best version of who I am. It might not look much to someone else, but [I notice] improvement every day. Freshman year Bahar would never believe what Junior year Bahar has done. I have strived to better myself whether it be academic, physically, mentally, or all aspects of my character. There is always something to be improved while success is on the way.
Q: What are your plans as next year’s senior class President?
A: My goals as Senior Class President consist of bringing the senior class together to be more inclusive and communicative, elevating events such as Mr. Westfield and senior/junior game night that Sam Mefford and I [have] created, helping many prepare for the world and pathways through many initiatives and opportunities, and lastly being there as a figure that everyone can communicate, express themselves around, and appreciate.
Lila James (12)
Kids Can’t Wait - Pictured left to right, Anneliese Hahn (12), Kristen Murray (12), Laura Shupe (12), and Lila James (12) celebrate another successful year raising over $114,000 for Riley Hospital for Children.
Q: What are you involved in and outside of school?
A: I served as the Vice President of Fundraising for Dance Marathon this year, and I was one of the Vice Presidents for the Foodies Rock club. I do NHS [National Honor Society], and I work.
Q: How do you balance school work, clubs, and a job? A: I like to keep myself as organized as possible. I keep a calendar of everything I have coming up. Recently, I’ve used the reminders on my phone a lot for anything I need to do. I’ll have tons and tons of reminders going down my phone. It keeps me accountable and lets me know what I need to get done.
Q: How would you say you’ve grown since freshmen year?
A: I think my confidence has improved. I’ve gotten a lot more outgoing. Freshmen year I’d say I was a lot more shy, and kind of just stuck within my friend group. I tried not to meet new people. Now, I still have my friend group, but I branch out and meet new people. I [also] feel more confident in speaking in front of people.
Q: What has been your favorite high school memory?
A: I think this year as a whole has been my favorite memory. I’ve branched out a lot like I said and been more willing and open to trying new things, even if they make me a little bit uncomfortable. Anything from the new friends I’ve made this year, to the new things that I’ve done being a part of Dance Marathon [such as] speaking in front of 400 people at the marathon. I’m proud of how far I’ve come from freshman year.