May 2017 WOD~ Shaelynn Williams
A Mesa Ridge High School student overcomes odds to snag a state championship in track and field. Shaelynn Williams, junior, took the 2017 4A State Championship in Shot Put, throwing an incredible 40 feet 10 inches! With this great accomplishment came a lot of challenges. In sixth grade, Williams was diagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune disease that affects her breathing as well as her body. This past December, Williams had a flare-up that was by far the worst she has had. She came down with pneumonia and was rushed to the emergency room to discover that she had blood clots in her left lung. Luckily, everything was okay but she now has to take medication daily to control her ailments.With life trying to knock her down, Williams was determined to keep pushing forward. After recovery she got back on the health track both mentally and physically. She has a current GPA of a 4.12 and is a member of the school’s National Honors Society. Williams said the support from her friends and family keep her motivated, along with her love of the sport and faith in God.Williams is determined to beat her throw distance next spring by ten feet and is hoping to throw shot put in college after graduation.
April 2017 WOD ~ Brandon Williams
Brandon Williams is racing toward the 2020 Olympics. The Watson Junior High 8th grader runs track for the school and with the Colorado Springs Striders. He competes in the 800 and has broke club records seven times! His fastest time is 2:24. This year Brandon placed third in the 26th Annual Arizona Indoor Championship qualifying him for the Hershey National Indoor Championship in New York. Brandon started running two years ago. "I feel like when I'm mad or annoyed, running helps me vent and it all goes away," he said. Brandon's dream is to run the 800 and the one mile in the 2020 Olympics while in high school and then run track at Texas A&M where he wants to study aerospace engineering.
February 2017 WOD ~ Conor Peck
Conor Peck may not know it, but he is an inspiration to anyone who has had to overcome the odds and find a “Plan B” in life. The Widefield High School senior is a stellar Navy Junior ROTC cadet, currently holding the position as executive officer, who had dreams of becoming a marine. A dream that actually became a brief reality when we was sworn in last May and scheduled to leave basic training this June. Conor had also taken up wrestling in his junior year and was looking forward to pursuing the sport as a senior. On September 29, 2016, Conor’s “Plan A” changed after getting into a car accident that left him paralyzed from the sternum down. Conor says that’s just a technical diagnosis, he plans to walk again and prove the doctors wrong.
After spending a month in the hospital and rehabilitation, Conor returned to school continuing ROTC and wrestling. While he may not be on the mat, he is still a part of the team taking pictures. Conor continues outpatient rehab once a week. His “Plan B” is to attend Pikes Peak Community College and transfer to UCCS to major in chemistry and minor in biology. His dream is to become a neurologist and study rehabilitation.
January 2017 WOD ~ Baylor Brown
Baylor Brown, senior at Mesa Ridge High School, is quite the accomplished musician. He plays the string bass for the school and has been selected for the All State Symphonic Orchestra for the third year in a row. Baylor has also performed multiple times with the Colorado Springs Chamber Group, and is a member of the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony Association (CSYSA).
Currently Baylor holds the principal position in the top group. Baylor went on a performance tour to Europe this summer stopping in New York City to perform in Carnegie Hall, then to Prague, Leipzig and Berlin. WOW! When Baylor isn't strumming his strings, he’s competing in mountain bike competitions with the Highlander Racing Mountain Bike Team, which is part of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association. Baylor plans on attending Bard College majoring in both music performance and mathematics. His dream is to travel to Europe and play in a German orchestra, and become an actuary.
December 2016 WOD ~ Sydney Villers
#SmartyPants is an appropriate hashtag for Ms. Sydney Villers who is a National Merit® Scholarship semi-finalist.
The Widefield High School senior worked very hard to meet requirements which included taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®)
- a test which serves as an initial screen of approximately 1.6 million entrants each year. Of the 1.6 million entrants, some 50,000 with the highest test score qualifies for recognition in the National Merit® Scholarship Program. Sydney not only made the 50,000, she moved on to become a semi-finalist, one of 16,000 in the United States. In February 2017, 15,000 finalists will be selected. Between March and June, NMSC chooses 7,500 to receive a Merit Scholarship. Sydney says this process has been worth every bit of time and energy spent. "It's an achievement based scholarship that reflects the hard work I've put in," said Sydney. Applying for the National Merit® Scholarship has expanded scholarship opportunities for Sydney and she is hoping when it's all said and done, to go to college for free...or cheap as possible. Sydney's dream is to pursue science and do something that helps people.
November 2016 WOD ~ Shaienne Knox
Shaienne Knox is a rising star Mesa Ridge high school. Besides being involved in marching band, KMRG, National Honor Society, and cheerleading, she can now add “award-winning filmmaker” to her resume. During the summer Shaienne completed a fellowship with the Youth Documentary Academy. She was selected to attend YDA at the Bemis Arts School for a six week, intensive workshop on filmmaking.
Shaienne's film “OUT OF OUR HEADS” explores the variety of hairstyles that African American girls wear, the commodification of black hair, the pressure to straighten and conform to white standards of beauty, and the role of hair in a political movement of change. Her film won the 'Excellent Experimental or Documentary Film' and 'Young Filmmaker' awards by the Pikes Peak Arts Council on October 4.
Shaienne's documentary will screen on October 26 at the Fine Arts Center.
For more information on the event visit: http://www.youthdocumentary.org/2016-yda-premiere-announced/
October 2016 WOD ~ Wesley Barrientos
A rock star walks the halls of Mesa Ridge high school. Senior Wesley Barrientos plays the sax in the popular band “La Nueva Lealtad,” which means the new loyalty. Wesley’s band plays norteno mexican music similar to polka and corridos.
It’s a mix of the saxophone, accordion, bajo sexto (12 string bass) and drums. Wesley comes from a long line of musicians including his brother, father, and grandpa. His brother inspired him to play an instrument and taught him how to play the saxophone. La Nueva Lealtad is based out of Denver and performs all over Colorado and surrounding states. Most recently, the band played at the Colorado State Fair. Wesley practices at least 10 hours a week, along with his school work and working part-time at KFC. Wesley plans to pursue his music career after graduation and to one day make it big!
September 2016 WOD ~ Mariah Boudrieau
She goes by "Froggy 17" on the weekends, but at school she is known as Mariah Boudrieau. Mariah is a sophomore at Widefield High School and is our first "Widefield of Dreams" student for the 2016-2017 school year. Besides being a stellar student, Mariah is a superstar on the racetrack. Mariah has been racing cars since she was 11-years-old. Currently she races a green hornet car, which is a 4-cylinder stock car with a roll cage. She started out racing quarter midgets, similar to a go-cart, and won two track championships. Now she has her eye on "Rookie of the Year" for hornet racing which includes a scholarship to the University of Ohio. Mariah is the youngest racer in her class, ages 14 and up, and is ranked number 4 out of 27 racers in the Pikes Peak region. Mariah's dream is to race for Nascar one day.
March 2016 WOD ~ Kam Lee
Kam Lee is a junior at Widefield High School and was recently named an "Academic All American" by the National Speech & Debate Association. Kam had to meet several criteria for this prestigious award including maintaining a GPA of 3.7 or higher in additional to earning an ACT score of 27 or higher or a combined SAT score of 2,000 or higher. She took 21st in state in poetry at the state competition in March. Kam says forensics has been an invaluable experience because of the people she has met, and it has helped her to become more comfortable speaking in front of people. Kam plans to go to college after graduation and study chemistry.
February 2016 WOD ~ GraiShawn Landry
Landry is a name you should get to know because this young lady will no doubt
make it big in life. She is an enthusiastic 8th grader at Watson
Junior High with a strong passion for making a difference in the lives of our
youth. Besides her involvement in
National Junior Honor Society, wrestling, choir, and advanced placement
classes, GraiShawn is a true, born leader. She is constantly coming up with
ways to help other students, improve community involvement, and show everyone
to be grateful for what they have in life. It’s no surprise she has big dreams
when she grows up. GraiShawn wants to attend Stanford University or the Air
Force Academy and become a musician, motivational speaker, engineer and
politician. With her dedication and determination, she will succeed.
January 2016 WOD ~ Michael Westberg
may not be the youngest Eagle Scout ever, but he is pretty close. At just
13-years-old this Watson Junior High seventh grader has earned the highest
honor of Eagle Scout, which is pretty rare. The typical age to earn the rank of
Eagle is 17 or 18 years old. Scouts must earn a total of 21 merit badges of
which 10 are required, provide leadership to their unit for six months after
earning their Life Rank, and plan, develop, and give leadership that benefits a
religious institution, a school, or a community organization. Michael helped
rebuild a playground at a local elementary school. Michael’s drive to become an
Eagle Scout so young stems from healthy competition with his older brother who
earned his Eagle rank before his 14th birthday. Michael says his
dream is to become a mechanical engineer and professional soccer player.
December 2015 WOD ~ Danaya Kinnard
Kinnard is a vibrant fifth grader at Venetucci Elementary who has a passion for
learning. Danaya won “Best In Show” for her “Dirty To Clean Water” experiment
at the 2015 District Science Fair. She also won the grand prize at last year’s
district science fair. Danaya is a gifted and talented student who excels at
reading, math and science. She loves to learn and has an incredible memory to
remember everything she learns. Danaya says her dream is help people through science by becoming a famous scientist of surgeon.
November 2015 WOD ~ Charis Groenig
Groenig is an international star for her color guard performances. In June
2015, Charis wrote and produced The Mayflower Winter Guard’s routine in the
U.K. The winter guard performed in front of Queen Elizabeth and received a
While Charis was not able to attend, she was recognized for
excellent production. This isn’t the first time Charis’ talents have been used
overseas. In 2014, she helped train a multi-winter guard in Japan. She has
received weapons mastery, in rifle, saber and flaming knives. Charis’ dream is
to write and direct a show on the Las Vegas strip and go to college to become a forensic scientist.
October 2015 WOD ~ Kylie Almeida
Almeida is a great example of how important community is in our district. Kylie is a junior at Widefield High School.
Over the summer she took part in a leadership class called Leading Edge through
Leadership Pikes Peak. The program is designed to help students make a
difference in their community. Kylie was one of 35 students chosen to
participate in Colorado Springs.
Her group worked with TESSA, a non-profit
organization that helps women and children. Kylie’s group created a video to
show parents warning signs of teen abuse. Kylie received a "Community Trustee Award" from TESSA for her hard work and dedication, and got the opportunity to speak to
the El Paso County Commissioners and City Council representatives. Kylie says
her dream is to become a leader and help other people.
September 2015 WOD ~ Asjha Tveter
School District 3 is rich in tradition. It’s a core value that is shared by
many of our students including Watson Junior High student Asjha Tveter. Asjha
dances in Native American powwows or “pau-waus.” She specializes in the jingle
dance and competes across the world. Asjha recently took first place in the
Crow Fair in Montana. She has been dancing in powwows since she could walk. Her
siblings, mother and grandmother also dance. She also helps her mother make the
dresses and outfits for each dance. Asjha says her dream is to become Miss
Indian World, a honor given to a woman with good grades, competitive dancer,
and involved in community. While achieving her dream, she plans to go to
college and become a marine biologist. Click here
to see a video of Asjha dancing.
August 2015 WOD ~ Antreise Lacey
Lay out the red carpet for rising superstar Antreise Lacey! Antreise is a senior at Widefield high school and recently completed a fellowship with the Youth Documentary Academy. She was selected to attend YDA at the Bemis Arts School for a six week, intensive workshop on film making. Antreise's film "Shade" highlights many of the inequalities African American women still endure because of the shade of their skin. At the screening in July, her film garnered the most discussion from the audience. You can view her documentary here
. Antreise is a well-rounded student, heavily involved in extra-curricular activities, and has plans to pursue film making and acting in college. Keep dreaming big Antreise!
To nominate a student for "Widefield of Dreams" email firstname.lastname@example.org.