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Sep 3, 201410:28 AMCity Beat

September Young Person of the Month

Sep 3, 2014 - 10:28 AM
September Young Person of the Month

Photograph by Howard Hartman

Kathryn Westerlund, 2014 Dr. Sandra Dackow Scholarship winner for Hershey Symphony Orchestra


What are your plans after high school?

My plans are to go to a conservatory to focus on music and discover more about myself both musically and personally.


What career(s) are you thinking of pursuing?

I want to pursue being a performing cellist and pianist. I love the thrill and spontaneous excitement of being on stage.


What are your interests?

Well, I like to write books, take pictures of random things, create games and activities, and find interesting places. I also enjoy working on and adding new words to my invented language, Xeiran.  


Who is your biggest inspiration?

I'd say the Pennsylvania Academy of Music is my biggest inspiration. Even though the school has been closed for three years now, all of the experiences and the wonderful people and teachers there have been a huge inspiration to me. The Academy continues to remind me of why I keep doing what I do.  


What is your favorite quote?

I'm not sure I have a particular favorite, so here's one I like: "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." - Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


How do you give back to the community?

I give back to the community by sharing music with them. There's a certain connection about art that brings people together, and I like that.


Give us one word that best describes you.

Ha! Stubborn.


What is the best part of your day?

It all comes down to what I did that day. 


What is the biggest challenge you've faced?

 I'm not the type to say much about my own challenges, but I'd say that the time after losing my music school in 2011 was very difficult for me. I spent the past three years without any kind of school to go to, and I became very isolated and had a lot of depression and stress, as well as other personal struggles to face. It's never easy to lose some of the things that mean the most to us. 


What is your greatest accomplishment?

Probably my greatest accomplishment would be never giving up. I've also found out that taking the opportunities that seem right, even if they're a bit intimidating, are usually the best decisions I've ever made. I believe that every great accomplishment we make first comes from a choice within us. 


If you could make a bucket list right now, what are the top 5 things you would put on it?

Let's see:

·       Traveling to all kinds of fun places

·       Enjoying lots of time with friends

·       Performing in many places

·       Learning other language

·       Seeing, hearing, and experiencing as many new and wonderful things as possible            


Do you have a hidden talent?  If so, what is it?

Well, right now I sure am pretty good at putting things off...that'll change.


If you could somehow send a message into the future, what advice would you give your 40-year-old self?

I would say smile, keep setting crazy goals, and never pass up a fun chance. Oh, and 40's just as fantastic of a number as any, so enjoy every bit of it ;)  

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