Man with a plan

Most little kids want to grow up to be royalty or even superheroes, but not senior Garrett Popovich.

Garrett has known that he wants to go into the workforce to be a firefighter or police officer since he was three years old.

“When I was three years old, I was playing with matchbox cars that were like cop cars,” Garrett said. “While everyone else was playing with monster trucks, I was the one playing with the fire and police cars.”

Senior Nathan Domeck lived in the same neighborhood as Garrett as a child and according to Domeck, Garrett has always had an interest in police.

“When he was little, he would take his bike and he would put little lights on it,” Domeck said. “In the morning, he would go outside and turn on his lights, making cop noises riding down the street with his bike.”

Garrett is currently a police explorer in Madeira, which is part of the Learning for Life career education program for teenagers who are 15 through 20 years old. Being a police explorer allows teenagers to experience what the career field is like being a police officer.

“The officers down in Madeira have trained me well, taught me well, and they’ve definitely showed me that being a police officer is something I want to do in life,” Garrett said. “Working with those guys has helped me further my career field and I have just wanted to be in the job more.”

Garrett also has a job as the public safety director at The Beach Waterpark. He handles all the fire inspections, all the public safety inspections, and he meets with the Mason police department and the Mason fire department on a regular basis. He is in charge of having a working relationship with the police and fire department, along with the 911 communication center for Warren County.

According to Garrett’s father, Gary Popovich, Garrett is already pretty mature for an 18-year-old.

“Just being around other adults and being comfortable in those kind of environments and settings, I think is good for any kid,” Gary said. “It’s good that he kind of knows what he wants to do and he has a passion for it. He is still an 18-year-old kid and he has his moments, but the maturity factor is a big one.”

After he graduates high school, Garrett plans to attend Cincinnati State to get his fire and EMT license, and get a job at a department either part-time or full-time. When he turns 21 years old, he will go to the police academy to get his state certificate. From there, he will apply and try to get a job somewhere.

“Obviously, my plan of going to college is not ‘the norm’ where everyone goes to college right after high school,” Garrett said. “My plan is to get a job, further my education in whatever career field I choose to be dominant in, whether it’s being a police officer or a firefighter.”

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Exposed

Exposure. That is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of high school newspapers. The newspaper has the power to introduce its viewers to different cultures and local phenomenons. It gives play by plays of the well-known sports teams and allows high school students to see their fellow classmates’ achievements. The newspaper exposes us to new things and the world that is right in front of us.

When I joined The Chronicle staff, my mission was to write engaging stories and get involved with the school, but it has proven to be much more than that. Not only do high school newspapers inform and interest the community, they also teach the staff members how to become better writers and overall, better people. I’ll admit that I haven’t always been the most outgoing or loudest person. Yet, when I joined The Chronicle staff, I was forced to open up and become more of a “people person.” I’ve grown a lot during my first year as a staff writer and I’ve learned so much about my community, that I wouldn’t have known without being on the newspaper.

When interviewees are so passionate about what they’re doing, it makes it all worth it and it makes me feel like I’m responsible for writing their story the way it deserves to be portrayed. I think that every high school needs to be more exposed to these heartwarming, passion-filled stories and the amazing people that make them happen. They’re inspiring.

It’s sad that high school newspapers are slowly dying out. Newspapers are essential to the high school and community. We’re lucky that we have such a great staff and a great community that supports our newspaper and keeps it going. We’re lucky we are so exposed.

Lauren Hill’s Lasting Impact

Lauren Hill passed away on April 10th, 2015 at the age of 19. For those of you who don’t know Lauren’s story, she was a freshman basketball player at Mount St. Joseph University, who was suffering from terminal brain cancer. Despite the inoperable brain tumor, she never gave up.

Lauren played a few basketball games for MSJ until her body couldn’t take it anymore. But, she didn’t stop there. Lauren raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for cancer research and became a role model for people around the world.

Although I didn’t know Lauren personally, I witnessed the lives she impacted. Every week, I go to a youth group called Athlete Impact at a friend of mine’s house. Lauren Hill was supposed to come speak at impact one week, but she was feeling too sick that day. I know she really wanted to come and speak and I understand why she couldn’t. Instead, Lauren’s basketball coach, Dan Benjamin, spoke about her. He told us about how she never gave up and how strong she was. I saw this look in his eyes as he sat there, tearing up over this girl’s amazing story, and I knew he meant every word of it.

When I found out Lauren had passed away, my heart dropped. I always wonder why bad things happen to good people, like Lauren. But, maybe everything is happening for a reason. Maybe, the world needed someone, like Lauren, to be living proof that giving up is not an option. Maybe, Lauren’s story will live on forever and others will continue to admire her strength and sincerity. When Lauren found out she was dying, she didn’t quit basketball and give up because her life was ending. Instead, Lauren taught us how to live. No one truly knows what it feels like to be dying until they’re dying, but Lauren didn’t waste a single moment. She did things that people once said were impossible. Her doctors said she wouldn’t make it to Christmas. Yet, she spent Christmas with her family and continued to keep fighting for four more months.

Just because Lauren passed away, doesn’t mean she gave up. She never gave up. She had no control over when she died. No one did. Lauren fought through it all and I hope that one day, I will be able to be as strong as she was.

Lauren’s story was heard all over the world and impacted many, especially me. She changed my view on life, so now I’m taking it one day at a time. Everyday is a blessing and you can never give up. I think everyone should take something away from Lauren’s story and the way she lived. Make your life mean something.

Watch: In Memory of Lauren

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