Sophomore Sarah Buchanan excels in a variety of activities

Lynlee Derrick

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Sophomore Sarah Buchanan does it all at only 15-years-old. With so much on her plate, she’s learned through life about how to balance it all.

Since the very beginning, Sarah has been dancing all while balancing school. Through this, she has found a passion in it.

“Dance is the main thing that I like to do,” said Sarah, who has been dancing since she was seven. “I’ve always just loved it. It’s a way to express myself.”

Dance is a strenuous sport; however, Sarah loves it. Despite the ups and downs of dance, she continues with it. As she has grown with dance, its molded her into the person she is today.

“I love [dancing],” Sarah said. “[Dancing] can definitely be really hard at times — it’s very physical. I love it, though. It’s hard, but I wouldn’t be the same without it.”

Now, Sarah is on the Varsity Dance Team which can be laborious. Though dance is what Sarah mainly loves to do, she does much more.

Joining Student Council in 5th grade has added to Sarah’s after-school activities. The call to join came from her experiences and personality.

“I feel like I’ve always been a leader,” Sarah said.”In everything like group projects or whatever I do. It’s always been a part of me. I thought [being on student council] would be something that’s good for me to do.”

Being an active role in the student body is time-consuming. But with Sarah’s experience beginning in 5th grade, she has learned to balance her love for dance and Student Council.

Not only is she learning time management skills but also leadership skills. Being a part of a leadership group for her allows key interactions to grow as a person.

“I’ve learned more leadership skills,” Sarah said. “I learned how to work with groups and connect with people that I normally wouldn’t have talked to without [student council].”

These skills are applicable in Sarah’s life in instances besides Student Council. Sarah recently joined DECA, which is a business based club. In this club, she uses lessons learned from other aspects of her life.

“I think [leadership skills from student council] are [helping with DECA],” Sarah said. “The part where talking to people I normally wouldn’t – I have to connect with people through DECA, like business owners, and talk to them about what they do. So, it helps me be more comfortable talking to people.”

The initiative to join DECA was inspired by Sarah’s love for business. Sarah was led to join the group because of her love for DECA and rave reviews about the clubs for friends.

“I’m really interested in business,” Sarah said. “And I really think that’s what I want to do when I’m older. My friend did it and told me about it, and she really liked it; so, I decided it would be good for me.”

In this club, Sarah is a part of a group project – which can be time-consuming. Since she and her group don’t work on it during school, they work on it during their own time. This can be hard for Sarah to do.

“[Balancing everything] can be [difficult],” Sarah said. “I try to find times when I don’t have any dance going on to do [DECA].”

In school, Sarah works on something much more than a project. Instead of a group project, in her class Introduction to Business, she runs a real business with her classmates.

Dance is the main thing that I like to do; I’ve been dancing since I was seven. So, I’ve always just loved it. It’s a way to express myself and something that I’ve always done.”

— Sarah Buchanan

Through this class, the students run a business with real money – costs and all. From the very beginning, they have to build it up with an idea and a partner. Sarah’s group decided on selling water bottles with a twist; they’re called Simply Water Bottles.

“One of the girls in my group decided that glass water bottles would be a cool thing to do,” Sarah said. “Then, we tied the tree planting aspect with it to give an extra incentive to buy the water bottles because it’s for a good cause.”

The tree planting was something her group decided to add on due to all the recent news surrounding fires.

“It’s a main thing in the environment that’s an issue right now,” Sarah said. “In California, there are forest fires, and that’s where we’re trying to plant the trees mostly because of that.”

These business and leadership experiences are helping to play into Sarah’s life in major ways. They’re exposing her to real life experiences and lessons.

“I think that starting the water bottle business was definitely a great accomplishment because it taught me business skills at a young age,” Sarah said. “Being able to start a business at a young age, I’m only 15, would never happen if I didn’t get that experience.”

Also, Intro to Business is showing possible career pathways to Sarah. With her interest in business, it’s a path she’s considering.

These interests have led her to show interest in Indiana University and the University of Michigan.

“[DECA and Intro To Business] show me that business is definitely a passion of mine,” Sarah said. “[They] show me that this might be a career for me that I could do for my entire life.”

While balancing all of this is hard work, Sarah can always rely on her role models: her older sisters. They constantly inspire her daily, and she can always count on them.

“I can always look up to them; they’re really strong,” Sarah said. “They’re really independent and they’re always looking out for me and themselves, and always standing up for themselves. It’s really inspiring to see them grow through that.”