Through his open mindset, John Courcy is thriving in high school


Whenever sophomore John Courcy has a free moment, he has recently taken to the rock climbing walls with his friends or the trails for hiking with his family.

“I’m [starting] to get into rock climbing, which is pretty cool,” John said. ” I joined the Outdoor Adventure Club, and when we went rock climbing, that kind of was when I started getting more interested. I think that it is a lot of fun to take on new things and experience new adventures, and [rock climbing] is really a good way to have fun and stay fit at the same time.”

For John, this passion began mainly with his older brother Owen who sparked an interest in him after going on a three month long trip out west, which was a clearly impactful opportunity that John hopes to take up as well.

“My brother went out west with this program called NOLS, and they basically had no connection to the civilized world,” John said. “He got into rock climbing there, and when he came back, he got me interested in it too. He said that he learned a ton about how life outdoors, and he experienced the world and sort of found his place in it, which I think is really cool.”

Throughout his life, John’s biggest supporter and role model has been his brother Owen who recently graduated and moved out of the house. Despite the hardships of that transition, the difficult change actually turned into a blessing for John.

“My brother was just gone for three months, and I only talked to him once over that period,” John said. “That was tough; it’s really weird having him gone for the first time in ages. For the longest time, I wanted to be exactly like him, so not having him here has changed me and how I do things. It has impacted me because he was always there for me, and I used to always do stuff with him. Now though, I’m getting to spend more time with friends and other family members.”

A key component of John’s life that has changed over the years is his outlook and what he hopes to achieve out of high school.

“I view high school as an opportunity, both socially and academically,” John said. “But I’ve kind of taken more to social aspects rather than academics. I prefer to go at my own pace and experience high school socially because literally, everyone I talk to says that high school goes by so fast and that I should savor it while I still have it.”

Because of this perspective, high school has offered John a whirlwind of opportunities in many different areas, including student council, Math Club, track and field, and drumline.

“I do a lot of extracurriculars that are just fun to do, but it’s also good to have some that are serious,” John said. “Through student council, we’re working with Family Promise, and that will be awesome to volunteer to help others, which is something that I don’t get to do often.”

Student council has been more than simply something to put on your transcripts, however– it has been a great learning experience that has offered him with teamwork and organization skills.

“I used to not be able to work well in groups, but through my extracurriculars and through school I’ve come along a lot with being able to cooperate with people and succeed there,” John said. “As trustee for student council, I’ve also been helped a lot in that area because if you aren’t working together with everyone there, you’re never going to get anything done.”

Aside from student council, he is also a member of FHC’s drumline, which is something that is a lot of time and work but is somewhat of a passion of John’s. Overall, it has been a huge part of his life, and the camaraderie that he has gained from the program is extensive.

“Out of all the activities I’m involved in, that’s probably the one where I have the most friends,” John said. “Everyone there is just so funny and eager to have fun. They’re all really outgoing, and it’s a good place to relax and unwind.”

At the coaxing from a friend to join, John began attending and was soon hooked on yet another program: the Math Club.

“My friend Tommy Hendricks got me into Math Club, and [thankfully] it’s not too big of a commitment,” John said. “It’s a lot different than normal math, and in my opinion, it’s a lot more fun with problem-solving and fewer calculations. It involves a lot of thinking outside of the box.”

Despite the hectic life that he leads, he has various communities in his life that are his solid rocks and have been some of his biggest supporters. One of those communities is his inner circle of friends who have always encouraged him to live to his full potential.

“I chose my friends really wisely,” John said. “They’re always pushing me to go out of my comfort zone. My friends have especially helped me grow along the way, and [they have] gotten me into the things that I now love.”

According to John, the most important part of his life has consistently been his youth group, which he has been a part of for roughly five years. The group’s reassurance and help have made all the difference in John’s life, and ultimately, they have strengthened John to make him who he is today.

“They’re just so supportive,” John said. “Living without them would just be really, really difficult. Throughout the good times and the bad times, they’re always there, and that’s good to have a community like a social net to fall back on. There have been some really tough times for me, and they’ve shown me that I am my own person and that I don’t have to be level with society’s standards.”

Whether it be through enduring tough times or stepping out of his comfort zone, John has gained much through his active community and school involvement.

“You develop your values and learn who you are through band and through music,” John said. “From band, I’ve learned that it takes a lot of practice and patience to be a good leader. From sports, I’ve learned a lot about taking initiative and utilizing my time to the fullest.”

All of his extracurriculars are proved to be outlets to increase leadership skills, but for John, leadership and personal acclaim isn’t his sole focus.

“I don’t want to be someone people look up to, but I also don’t want people to look down on me obviously,” John said. “I want people to see me and them as equals. Sometimes I view myself as a leader among my friends, but most of the time, I want people to view everyone around them as their equal.”

That open mindset is what sets John apart from his classmates, and that outlook for high school has developed a desire to try every opportunity available to him.

“Don’t miss out on opportunities that might pass you by,” John said. “When I get older, I don’t want to regret missing out on anything now, so I’d like to do and experience as much as I can rather than miss out on some and always regret it.”