NEXT GENERATION: Mark loves to help people

Mark leads a very active life in school and out. He’s involved in being a leader at his school, participates in activities in the parish and hopes to have a future helping others.

You are very active in school. You’re a class officer, work in the school bookstore, and are a member of Student Council and a Key Club officer. Why did you become so involved?

I become so involved in everything because I like to keep busy. I enjoy interaction with other people, not just in the school setting but in clubs and other activities. Being part of these organizations means a lot. I take pride in being an active participant in all of them.  

What are your responsibilities as a class officer?

As a class officer, I am put in charge of coming up with fundraising ideas, representing the student body and letting our advisers know. Making decisions is a big part of it as well. It takes a lot of group planning and collaboration. 

What does the Student Council do and how do you contribute to it?

The Westmoreland Student Council plans events and takes place in volunteer opportunities. They put on a blood drive, senior citizen bingo and prom throughout the year. They also fund the homecoming dance and work concession stands for various sports. They give out money for scholarships at the end of each year and make decisions that affect the school. All of these events I try and volunteer for. Last year, I volunteered for the prom and it was just nice seeing everyone have a good time and it felt good helping those who did a lot in the past. 

Sounds like politics might be in your future. Do you take an interest in politics and do you think you might like to get involved in public service.

I do enjoy talking about politics. I like to be educated on what is going on around me. I feel like helping people is such a good quality. Some people might have a smaller voice and they need representing.

You also love sports, playing soccer, volleyball and tennis. How did you get involved in these activities and what do you enjoy about them?

It didn’t start until about third grade. I really didn’t get into sports until then. I played soccer from then and then I watched my sister play volleyball for six years so I have grown to like the sport. Tennis is something new to try so that I can stay after throughout the year. I enjoy playing sports because it keeps me active and sharp. 

Has sports taught you anything about life?

Sports have taught me how to be a team player. In any sports team you have to all work together to achieve a common goal. If you are not working together, nothing will go the way you want it to. It also teaches you that you have to work hard. 

You have an older sister who just went off to college. What’s the one thing you learned from her that you think is important?

One thing that I learned from my sister is never give up. She has been faced with altercations, whether it be in school or anywhere, and she tried to the best of her power to come up with solutions. She was also very involved in school activities. 

Is there one person you really look up to and try to emulate?

One person that I look up is my mom. She leads me in the right direction. She encourages and supports me through everything and never leaves my side.

Youre very involved in our parish. You are an altar server, help at the festival and Breakfast with Santa. Why do you do what you do?

I like to be active in the community. When I get the chance to help out the church, I love to. It is good to help out. I find it fun to work with others to put on the spectacular things our church does.

Many teens come to our parish to make their Confirmation and then disappear. What would you tell them if you could about the importance of faith and remaining involved in the church?

Being involved in the church can be very beneficial. If you need something, there is always someone to talk to. It would always be a good thing to stay here and to carry on the traditions that your parents passed on to you.

How has your faith helped you?

My faith helped get through tough times. It guides me in the right direction and allows me to make better decisions. 

What does Mount Carmel / Blessed Sacrament mean to you?

Mount Carmel / Blessed Sacrament is like a big family. Everyone knows everyone. It is a safe place that everyone can go to. 

What do you hope your future holds?

I plan on attending college and go for either physical therapy or to be a civil rights lawyer.

Mark V.

Age: 15.

Things you like to do: Spend time with family, talk with friends, play sports (soccer, volleyball, tennis).

Favorite classes in school: Chemistry, math.

Favorite TV show: “Hawaii 5-0.”

Favorite book: “A Long Way Gone” by Ishmael Beah.

Favorite musical genre: R&B, pop.

Note to readers

Diocesan guidelines prohibit the publication of last names, ages, parents and siblings names, and any other personal information for people younger than 18.