2017 Winter Scholarship Winner – Jillian Ferry
Jillian Ferry is a senior at Fenton High School in Fenton, Michigan. She is the Assistant Online Editor in Chief for the Fenton InPrint student newspaper, on the Fenton Adrenaline Dance Team, and an avid choir student. Outside of school, you can probably find Jillian dancing or skiing. In the fall, she plans on attending college and majoring in Elementary Education, with the help of the Aperture Education scholarship
Brad Wright is the Fenton High School choir director, and the teacher who has influenced me the most in a non-academic way. Wright’s impact on me began when he convinced me to join Bella Voce — Fenton High School’s Women’s Choir — when he held auditions for it during my eighth grade year. Little did I know that over the course of almost four years he would teach me more than just notes and pitches.
His classes often begin how a normal choir class would with vocal warm-ups. However, Wright also leads his choirs through physical warm-ups, where he often tells a story. These stories could be about anything from current news to a funny story about his children, and each one seems to have a lesson that goes along with it. A story about a student who lacked the skills needed for an interview, taught me how to properly approach an interview, and a discussion about a local news story lead me to learn self defense. While it’s not every class that these stories occur but when they are told, they teach me things that other classes would neglect to teach me.
Beyond lessons that stem from stories at the beginning of class, Wright has helped me gain characteristics that will help me beyond high school. These characteristics are professional, punctual, prepared, polite and positive, and are also known as: “Mr. Wright’s Five P’s of success.” Wright holds his students to these standards so that they are all successful. I try my hardest each and every day to reach these standards and during my freshman year I had to work extremely hard to achieve all five of them, however now in my senior year they come as a second nature. I am extremely thankful for this because as I am about to graduate and go on to college I will need these characteristics to help me have a successful future.
Overall Wright’s impact on me has extended far beyond his academic influence. Wright has helped me so that when I graduate in June I will be prepared to go out into the real world of college and careers and be successful while doing so. With this all said, Wright’s first influence that made me want to join Bella Voce is the influence I am most thankful for, without it I would have missed out on so much.