Courtney is a very active 17-year-old junior at Midway High School in Waco, Texas. She is a member of the National Honor Society, founder and president of her school’s Trivia Club, and serves as an officer in the Spanish Club. Courtney’s Business Professionals of America Start-up Enterprise team has advanced to nationals and placed in the top ten teams in the nation. She is also in two varsity choirs at her high school and has been recognized on the regional level in state vocal competitions. She loves to write music, sing, and excels in playing the piano, guitar, and ukulele and loves to share her gift of music to bless others. However, Courtney’s greatest passion is her faith and serving God. She is actively involved in her church where she also plays and sings in the youth worship band. Courtney looks forward to pursuing a career in business/entrepreneurship and Spanish. When she was just nine years old, her mother authored a book for those who need hope in difficult circumstances, so Courtney decided to organize her friend to make beaded bracelets and sell them in local gift shops and online. For each bracelet she sold, she and her mom were able to donate a book to hospitals, hospice and cancer centers, churches and others who need hope. Through Courtney’s Creations, she has raised more than $12,000 and donated more than 1,000 books. Courtney loves to express her heart and creativity in arts and crafts, songwriting and all things music-related. She loves the mission of Constituting America and is delighted to be part of raising the awareness and importance of our nation’s Constitution!
Click here or scroll down to listen to Courtney’s Winning Song!
Our Interview With Courtney
Was this the first time you entered the contest?
Yes, this was my first time entering the contest!
How did you hear about the contest?
I was on the founding youth advisory board, so I first heard about it when I was introduced to CA. Also I have been on the email list for a while and was reminded of the contest there.
What inspired your work?
The constitution and the freedom it gives me. I am an outspoken Christian and the freedom for me to not only practice my faith but speak openly about it spurs me on in every aspect of life.
What did you learn while creating your entry?
While writing the lyrics, I had to dive a little deeper into the history of the constitution and from that I learned even more about the founding fathers and the social environment that inspired the constitution. It reassured my faith in our nation and its founders.
How do you plan to spread the word this year to your peers about the importance of the U.S Constitution?
I plan to spread the word about the importance of the constitution by not only encouraging my friends to become involved with Constituting America but also by urging them to really understand the principles set forth in the Constitution. I want everyone to recognize those principles are the basis for the freedoms they enjoy every day. Our whole lives are built upon the truths written in this document, and I think that is simple and ground-breaking for many.
How do your friends respond to history or talking about the Constitution?
My friends and I thoroughly enjoy talking about history and the Constitution. We are amazed at the extensive progress our nation has made over the last four centuries, and yet we find it very intriguing that the challenges to protect our freedoms in 1787 are comparable, in some ways, to the challenges we still face today.
What do you love about U.S. History and the forming of our government?
I love that the US prioritizes the wellbeing and freedoms of its citizens. The whole purpose of the government throughout our history is “How can we band together to improve this nation?” While there have been many poor examples of this throughout history, I do believe the overwhelming sense of pride has been rooted in an attitude of freedom and individual rights. That’s what makes the government so admirable. Even in times of factions and conflict, we are still a nation that wants the best for its people, even if we may not always agree on what that may be.
Which U.S. historical site would you like to visit?
I would love to visit the site of the Battle of Gettysburg. I think it would be so powerful to stand in the place that served as a turning point for our nation from yet again a period of darkness to freedom.
Which American historical figure is most influential/inspirational to you?
Abraham Lincoln is one of the most influential people in history. Not only was he a popular leader, his humility and kind spirit came through in everything he did. Something not many people know is that he was an incredible storyteller who drew together politicians of all different views to join together in laughter. That is something I greatly admire. I think our country has lost its ability to unite despite differences, and it is something I aspire to advocate for in my lifetime.
Who is your greatest role model?
My greatest role model is my grandmother. She is someone who lived her entire life in servitude to the Lord. She grew up with little money, and when she married my grandfather, they together raised five children on very little income. It was later in their lives that my grandfather’s company became a very successful business. From that point on, they both used their money to help others, start charities, and give back in every way possible. My grandmother was one of the most kind, humble, loving people you would ever meet. She constantly reminded me what it means to serve others. She opened her home to any person who needed it. There have been many families that lived there temporarily between homes or jobs, and countless others who passed through or stayed for shorter visits. She loved to cook and invited others into her home regularly to enjoy those meals. I have never known someone so charitable and above all—joyful. She exuded joy in every aspect of her life, and that is something I aspire to do as well.
What in your life are you most passionate about?
I would say I am most passionate about music. I play five different instruments, and I also sing. I take voice lessons, sing in two different varsity choirs in my high school, play and sing in the worship band at my church, and I lead worship for my small group. I write music in my free time and I am currently recording an EP to release. I love the unity of music and yet the diversity. It is a way to express your emotions and thoughts and opinions while making something beautiful that others can enjoy. Music has so much power, and it is something that touches everyone’s lives in one way or another.
How do you spend your free time?
I spend a lot of my free time—which I have very little of— with friends and family, in addition to pursuing my musical interests. I also love to make silly videos and record music. Both of my older brothers like making music as well, so they’ve shown me some tips and tricks and encourage me in my own musical pursuits. I also love to go on spontaneous adventures. Sometimes the most fun is when you do something unplanned and unstructured.
What are your plans for the future?
In my future I plan to go to a four-year university and then hope to move to Spain. I have always dreamed of traveling the world, and I have a deep love for Spanish and the Spanish culture. I plan on living and teaching English abroad and using my extra time to travel and record music. Eventually, I plan to move back stateside and find a job, start a family, and continue making music in addition to whatever profession I pursue.
If you could do one super impactful thing to help people, what would it be?
If I could do one super impactful thing to help people, I would advocate for more money to go toward teacher salaries. I strongly believe teachers are the foundation of the world. Most people who are able to achieve their dreams can attribute much of their success to their teacher and the education they received. Teachers have a profound effect on society at large and yet the profession of teaching is extremely underfunded. Imagine what the world would be like if our teachers were appropriately compensated for the value of the work they do.
Why is the Constitution relevant today?
The constitution is relevant today because the idea of freedom is something that still pertains to each person. We still live in a society where we must protect and proclaim our rights, and that is what the Constitution does. It is a proclamation of the people. It is the livelihood of the people of our country. The Constitution is relevant today because people are relevant today.
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