Role models offer guidance for students

Marissa Payne, Coppyeditor

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As kids grow up, they find admirable qualities in athletes, musicians and sometimes people as seemingly ordinary as their own parents. No matter who inspires kids, there is often someone who serves as the driving force behind the steps they take to achieve their goals. These people are role models.

“Role models help kids look forward to the future and represent how great someone can actually be, which inspires kids to be like them,” said junior Elise Likins. “They see all the hard work the role model does, so they will give their all to be successful.”

In addition to inspiring kids to work hard, role models are able to bring out the best in others, even when they have different goals and interests both in and out of the classroom.

Science teacher Peter Olszewski, for one, hopes to give students a reason to look forward to school, whether science is their favorite subject or not.

“I want them to be excited about coming to class, whether it’s just being here in school or learning the subject,” said Olszewski. “That’s one of the things that I really strive to do, is getting kids excited about coming to school and once they’re here, they can fill in whatever avenue, whatever niche that they feel is theirs to do.”

Junior Tatum Grooms agrees with Olszewski’s suggestion that kids can be influenced by people like teachers despite a difference in career goals.

“I don’t think that just because a science or math teacher is a good teacher that their students are going to become science or math majors,” said Grooms. “I think it’s about a role model’s behavior. If a teacher teaches well, it makes students want to do whatever they plan to do well also, regardless of whether their goals have anything to do with the teacher’s career.”

Once a role model influences the life of one person, it often inspires that person to make a change in the lives of others. Olszewski’s father is one person who has helped him significantly throughout his life, so Olszewski gives back by trying to make a difference in the lives of others.

“I said to him one day, ‘I’m never going to be able to repay you. How can I say thank you,” said Olszewski. “He has told me a story about how his father did the same thing with him… and [my grandfather told him], ‘You can’t [repay me], but you can do for your kids what I’m doing for you, so like the ‘pay it forward’ type thing. I think that just struck me as…a great attitude, …a great way to live your life.”

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Role models offer guidance for students