Exceptional Teen Feature – Brooke Sanders, June, 2016

Have you ever found yourself in Wonderland, wondering where to go next and where that next road will lead you? A few years ago, that’s exactly where thirteen year old Brooke Sanders found herself. After successfully landing the role of Alice in the local community production of Alice in Wonderland, she found her place in the world of acting and stage performance. Where will Brooke’s road lead her next? The possibilities are endless!

This talented girl has been playing music and performing on stage in various school, church, and community productions for many years, and she has always shined like a light. From a very young age, Brooke’s gifts have been shining bright and blessing others in the process, and she has plans for more shining in the future.

Recently, Brooke’s compassion and social conscience became evident as she and other members of her church youth group traveled to their state capital to make a presentation to the legislature. They also spoke with some individual lawmakers to make them aware of some teens’ views on important political and social issues.

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Frog gigging!

Whatever she is doing, whether it’s demonstrating leadership skills, singing on stage, kicking those soccer balls into the net, or even frog gigging with her church youth group, Brooke has something exciting and fun on her to-do list. I hope you enjoy reading all about this clever, funny, talented, exceptional teen.

Q: What was your first significant dramatic role in a play? Tell about what led you to try out for the role, and how the experience of starring in the role impacted you. What was your favorite role you have ever done and why?

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A: My first significant dramatic role was Alice in Alice in Wonderland, when I was in third grade. I thought it would be fun to be in a play so I auditioned. I’ll never forget getting in the car after school, and my mom turned around and said, “You got Alice.” I was so happy. Being in that play made me realize that I really enjoyed acting.

I have definitely grown as an actress since that performance, and my favorite role in a play was Clara in the Nutcracker. It wasn’t a dancing role, I didn’t even have any lines, but the character was so much like me. It was the first role where I truly became my character.

Q: What instruments do you play, and how did you get started on them?

A: I play the piano and violin. My mom plays the piano, so she wanted me to try it out. I started when I was only six years old. For the first five years I played, I enjoyed it but I hadn’t completely fallen in love with it. But when I turned twelve, we got a new grand piano at our house and it is the best sounding piano I’ve ever heard. Playing on that piano gave me this feeling in my stomach that I still cannot get enough of. It showed me what music really is.

I also decided I wanted to learn to play the violin, and I just started doing that last year. I really love the way it makes me feel when I play it.

Q: What are some of your favorite books that you have read and why are they special to you?

A: One of my favorite books is The Outsiders. It is a book that shows what social differences can do to people and it makes me appreciate my own situation.

Another favorite of mine is The Mark of Athena. I love adventure and action, and this adventure really captures me. It’s also taught me a lot of cultural and historical facts about Ancient Greece, which is one of my favorite topics.

Q: What is a really important lesson you have learned in the last year?005

A: Everything you do you should be able to do it with Jesus standing near you. Don’t listen to the world. This past year, I feel I have truly begun to learn who I am and who I want to be. I want to always stay true to God throughout my life even when it isn’t the popular thing to do.

I want to always stay true to God throughout my life even when it isn’t the popular thing to do.

Q: In your opinion, what problems exist for teens now that you think did not exist for your parents when they were teens?

 A: It seems that there is a greater distrust among teens towards the United States. For my parents’ generation, I feel like they didn’t distrust their country as much. Also, because technology is so prevalent in our society, cyber bullying has become a real issue for teens. No longer can students come home from school or other activities and completely escape their problems. They sometimes have to worry about being bombarded with their problems at home on the Internet.

Q: What activity makes you happiest when you do it and why?

A: Playing the piano gives me great joy. I also love performing on stage in front of an audience, no matter how big or small. I also love to write. It allows me to use my imagination, which I have always loved. Writing is transformative.

Q: What opportunities do you think more teens should take advantage of?

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Brooke as the King Apparition in Macbeth

A: Opportunities in the arts. These opportunities have taught me more than just how to act or play an instrument. They have taught me how to deal with difficult situations, how to empathize with other people, and how to organize my thoughts.

Q: How do you stay on track with your grades, your drama, your music, and your other activities?

A: I have priorities. Classes come before everything. Theater requires my focus whenever I’m in a play or about to audition. Music is something I focus on every spare second I have. Lately, I have been playing soccer after school. This has been a bit difficult to juggle but everything that challenges me helps me to grow. Still, I remind myself regularly that I am at school to learn first and foremost.003

Q: What are some of your favorite activities and involvements at school? How will those activities influence what you want to do in high school?

A: Theater and Latin are my favorite things I do at school. Since I want to go into medicine, Latin will help me with medical terms. Plus, it challenges me to appreciate language and Roman culture. Theater is something I enjoy doing and I hope to do it all through high school and as a minor in college.


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At a leadership conference at UCLA

Wow! Brooke is only thirteen years old, but the maturity reflected in her answers would rival an older teen for sure. I really loved reading about how music affects Brooke. Her love for practicing and performing truly spills out of her, and I hope many people will benefit from this special young lady’s talents.

My biggest takeaway from the interview with Brooke is her unwavering love for God, and her determination to stick to her principles, even if it is not a popular or “cool” thing to do. I admire her for taking that stand, and for her passion and compassion for doing what is right. You go girl, and keep moving forward. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for you!

Do you have an exceptional teen?

If you have or know of a teen who is exceptional – whether it be in school with academics, music talent, sports, heroic deeds, community service, or anything else that would make them stand out – I want to hear about it!

Send me an email at annascates@7yearadventure.com to tell me a little bit about your situation. Give a quick sentence or two about why your teen is exceptional. I will be in touch with you with an emailed list of interview questions your teen can answer and send back to me. The world needs to know there are wonderful kids out there doing outstanding, praiseworthy activities. I would love to feature your exceptional teen.

Check out our other exceptional teen features. We’re showing the world how great kids are – one teenager at a time!

Exceptional Teen Feature – Houston Vandergriff, May, 2016

Exceptional Teen Feature – Lilly Robertson, April, 2016

Exceptional Teen Feature – Colin Grimes, March, 2016

Exceptional Teen Feature – Alicyn Newman, February, 2016

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