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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

TCT’s The Countless Thanks 2023: Kiera Kemppainen


To Mom, for everything that I am

Thank you for being my best friend. When I was younger, I didn’t think people were serious when they said your mom would become your best friend. Now, I can’t imagine it any other way. Thank you for taking me everywhere you go, from the grocery store to your classroom to T.J. Maxx. Thank you for showing me how it looks to care for so many people. Thank you for picking up my calls telling you when I am heading home and then staying on the phone for half of my drive. Thank you for watching stupid rom-coms and dating shows with me, even if we both fall asleep. From you, I learned compassion, respect, and how to stand up for myself. From you, I am constantly in awe.

To Dad, for everything I want to be

You have always pushed me to be great. You encourage me to practice more, work harder, ski faster, and be more. You have always made me believe that I am stronger than I feel and smarter than I think. Thank you for being my constant battle, the person I constantly want to beat. I strive to meet you in all that I do: in golf, skiing, academics, and life. Thank you for being that person for me. Thank you for pushing me to do great things and laughing with me along the way. From you, I learned determination, responsibility, and how important laughter is. From you, I am forever moving forward.

To Aleksi, for not caring

You were an inspiration to me growing up. I saw you in all of your sports, with your friends, and I wanted to be the same. I always wanted to impress you. I wanted to do enough to make our five-year age gap feel a little smaller. But you never cared. You didn’t care that I was younger, you still included me. Sure, we’ve had times where we’re not as close, but you always invite me to do things. You’ve never cared that it means hanging out with your younger sister rather than someone your own age. I know that with you, there will always be another movie at Celebration and another trip to the zoo. You’ve shown me that getting older doesn’t mean you have to leave behind the things you enjoy. With you, I know I will always have a place.

To Puppa, for teaching me

Through you, I have learned many things. I cannot recount a time when you have not told me what a word translates to in Finnish. Though I don’t always remember the words, I like to know in the moment. Thank you for taking me to build a boat. To other people, it may seem odd that our family vacation was boat-building, but I am so grateful that we did it. I don’t plan on building a boat again, but if I had to, at least I’d have experience. Thank you for teaching me about your life and family. Thank you for coming over and reading the paper; and for always asking me about what I’m doing in school, or with golf and skiing. Thank you for all that you’ve done and all that you’ve said.

To Nana and Papa, for always asking

Thank you for asking about everything I am doing. Thank you for showing up to golf matches and ski races, no matter how cold. Thank you for creating the family I cannot imagine being without. You have always been there for me, whether I needed to be picked up from school with a migraine, needed a dress tightened, or needed camouflage clothes for a camo-out football game. Thank you for caring about all that I am and all that I do.

To Shayne Manzer and Molly Hayter, for being an extension of family

My aunt was as much my own as she was yours. I feel that you are my cousins as much as those with whom I share blood. I forever miss you. Molly, from the first time I met you six years ago, I couldn’t wait for my trips to Colorado to see you. We always connected again as if no time had passed. You are Hawaii’s sunshine. Thank you for always giving me a hug when I see you again, no matter how long it’s been since we had seen each other last. Shayne, though I haven’t known you for long, I feel as though it’s been longer. You are the sweetest girl I know. Thank you for welcoming me to your family’s Christmas party and for making going to Colorado feel less melancholy and sweet rather than bitter. Thank you for simply being you. To your families, thank you for becoming an extension of my own, and for loving my aunt so much. With you, I can feel her get a little closer.

To Maya Sneider, for the past, present, and future

You are my longest friend. I know we’ve always gone in and out with how strong our friendship is, but it always remains. After years of thanking you, I am not sure what there’s left to say. I don’t think there are enough words to describe my thankfulness to you. Thank you for always laughing with (or at) me and for yelling at me to keep our Snapchat streak. Thank you for every talk we’ve had before and after practice. Thank you for all the memories we’ve shared. Thank you for your love of chocolate milk and Panda Express. Thank you for our trips to the fair and days at Caberfae. I am so grateful that I’ve been able to have you in my life for so long. 

To Paige Harsevoort, for making me love you

I’ve kept it no secret from you that I didn’t like you when we met in fifth grade. But luckily enough, you didn’t let me get away from you. Now, I am incredibly grateful to know, and love, you. Thank you for never complaining about the drive to my house, even though I know it’s exhausting. Thank you for listening to me rant, make no sense, cry, and laugh. Thank you for trusting me to do the same. Thank you for telling me to text you when I get home and for always saying “I love you” when we leave one another. Thank you for your endless compassion and caring, and for not letting me leave you seven years ago.

To Nora Ingram, for more than I can describe

Numbers nine and ten: Nora and Kiera. That’s what we’ve always been. Even years later, that’s how we can say we connected. You are one of the most inspiring people I know. You are smart, kind, and so incredibly talented in all that you do. Even though we were separated by schools five years ago, you and I have always remained. Thank you for updating me, even if it’s a little late. Thank you for inviting me to hang out with your friends and family. Thank you for having such amazing friends and family that make me feel as welcome as you do. No matter how much we’ve missed in-person of each other’s life, I know that you and I will always report back.

To Millie Alt and Grace Barber, for being Millie and Grace

I thank you for being a pair. You two have always been deeply interconnected. First, I knew Grace, but soon after, I met Millie. While I love you both individually, I love you exceptionally as a pair. You demonstrate unwavering love with your friendship. And that love is the same that you spread to others, you don’t just keep it to the two of you. Grace, we weren’t close at Goodwillie, but our departure immediately connected us. You have always been so caring and thoughtful. You inspire me in your ability to love people so greatly. Thank you for everything you do, everywhere you do it. Millie, you push me to be greater and to think harder. You are driven in everything you do and always make time for what you love. Thank you for making time for me, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

To FHC Varsity Girl’s Golf Team, for everything that we’ve done

Thank you for an incredible season, and an amazing two years full of laughter. Skyler, thank you for being the voice of the team, whether loudly laughing at Instagram Reels or talking to literally anyone at a tournament; you are a spectacular golfer and person, and I can’t wait to see who you become. Maya, thank you for making fun of me and making me laugh; you work so incredibly hard, and I know that it will pay off so well for you. Thank you for your endless encouragement and for always planning ahead. Quinn, you inspire me with your dedication to both golf and school; thank you for being our queen. Izzie, I love your laugh; thank you for spreading your joy to the rest of the team every day. Abby, thank you for always being so positive, especially when I’m not; I’m so glad we golfed together so often. Emmary, thank you for showing me how to be unaffected by my golf game even if I’m playing badly; thank you for showing perseverance. Caroline, you will go so far on this team; you have endless potential and the sweetest heart. I hope to see all that you do inside, and outside, of golf.

To Morgan Cerny, for spending so much time with me

Spending three years of two sports seasons each with you has been one of my favorite parts of high school. I am so incredibly proud of the person you are and have grown to be. I love all of our conversations on the way to ski practice, and that you laugh the whole time. I love you so much, even if I call you out on forgetting basic things all of the time. Thank you for coming to Colorado with me, for always letting me drive you, and for being the person you are. Don’t forget me when I go to college, and remember to always keep me updated on how everything is going.

To Addy Quinn and Chloe Cox, for endless inspiration

You two are greater skiers than I will ever be. Even though you’re younger than me, I look to you for encouragement. Chloe, thank you for sliding into my DMs. I still think it’s weird that we communicate through Instagram, but I love talking to you either way. You have the type of smile and enthusiasm that lights up a room. I love that you always want to know what’s going on in my life and allow me to know about yours. I cannot wait to spend one last season with you and your overpowering joy. Addy, thank you for asking me about everything. You always seem to care so much, no matter what I say. Thank you for wanting to know more and including me in all of your conversations. I always look forward to seeing your face in second hour and hearing all about what’s going on.

To Ally Werkema and Lucy McLean, for being who I wish I was

I cannot express how grateful I am that I got close to you. I can’t imagine what last ski season would’ve been if I hadn’t known you so well. Lucy, thank you for leaving me a bigger role that I can fill. I strive to be as caring and respectful as a captain as you. I wish to be as outgoing as you. Thank you for being my candlelight partner. I hope I can continue with what you have done. Ally, I will never find it unironic that my mock award was “Ally 2.0.” Though we were often on the same wavelength with our thoughts and jokes last year, we are still so different. I miss witnessing your life close to me, but I’m ever so grateful to keep up with your life 1000 miles away, even if through Snapchat. I wish to have as much fun as you.

To my fifth-hour independent study, for four years

It’s crazy to think that we are the only four who have been on The Central Trend staff for four years. All of our writing has drastically improved, and I am so proud of each of you in your Editors-in-Chief role. Thank you for correcting Mr. George from “editors” to “editors and Kiera.” Addy, you have grown so much in your writing and life. You are so strong in what you believe that it’s truly inspiring. I am grateful that I’ve gotten to witness your growth in the past four years. Eva, even though you make me think we’re going to be late for sixth hour, I’m grateful for our time together. You are so smart and so kind. You never fail to make me laugh, especially when it’s something stupid. The past four years with you have been such a great experience. Sof, you are my writer’s envy. Your way of metaphorical writing is truly beautiful, and I wish I could do the same. I love our three hours a day together, especially since we haven’t always been close. Getting to know you over the past four years has been an amazing gift and one full of laughter.

To the Stearns family, for being closer than cousins

Kirstin, you are all I ever wanted to be when I was younger. Even now, I love it when my parents draw comparisons between us, whether it be baby pictures or the state of cleanliness of my room. I live in awe of your compassion and sense of fun. Thank you for endlessly inspiring me, in all that you do. Robert, thank you for being Kirstin’s person. I am so grateful that she found you, and that you fit with our family better than anyone else could. Thank you for becoming my family. To Sadie O and Alden, one day, when you can read, I hope you can look back on this and know how lucky you are. You have two amazing parents, who love you so much. Your family, close and extended, is a great one. I cannot wait to watch you two grow into wonderful people.

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About the Contributor
Kiera Kemppainen
Kiera Kemppainen, Copy Editor

Kiera is a senior continuing her writing journey with The Central Trend for a fourth, and final, year. Being on staff for the past few years has been one of her favorite parts of her high school experience. Besides writing, Kiera spends her fall as a part of the FHC varsity golf team and her winter on the ski team. She also has been coaching a youth golf team for the past three summers. For the rest of her time, Kiera likes to be around her family and friends. Kiera looks forward to making the most of her senior year while being part of The Central Trend for the last time.

Favorite book to gatekeep: The Green Glass Sea, by Ellen Klages; it was her fifth-grade book project book that her mom recommended

Current obsession: Headbands Favorite movie: 10 Things I Hate About You Has she gotten over hating steak? No, and don't expect her to

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