Amidst the excitement of graduation, many high school seniors are getting ready to graduate right now. In this series of interviews, we engage with a group of graduating seniors who have redefined the traditional notions of achievement and embarked on paths driven by purpose, determination and passion.
They have dedicated years of hard work, determination, and sacrifice to achieve the highest academic honors in their graduating class. However, their journey is not just about earning a high GPA, but it’s about the lessons they have learned, the challenges they have faced, and the impact they have made on their school and community. In this interview, we will explore the inspiring journey of a K-12 graduating seniors and the lessons they can share to inspire others. We share this with Nikolas Hendrix from Hubbard High School.
Name: Nikolas Hendrix
School: Hubbard High School
Bio: Nikolas is student-athlete with a great family. He has two wonderful parents, which are Wendy and Nik, and two sisters named Whitney and Daphne.
What inspired you to strive for academic excellence, and how did you maintain your motivation throughout your academic journey?
Coming into high school, it wasn’t my intention to be the best student that I could be. I took the hardest classes I could during my freshman year but thought that I’d ease off in my latter years. When I went to schedule my sophomore year classes, my mom made me take all honors classes again against what I wanted to do. This was probably the most important thing that has happened to me in my academic journey because once I started seeing that I really could be something academically if I applied myself, I started to take things very seriously. I continued to take the hardest classes that I could and push myself, for I started to love the challenge and the journey, which is what keeps me motivated. I expect nothing less of myself than to be the best version of myself that I can be. That is not only in academics but in all aspects of my life.
What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them to achieve your goals?
The biggest challenge that I faced was of maintaining balance. I often dedicated all of my efforts to school and sports to the point where I wasn’t sleeping or eating right, or I was ignoring important relationships in my life. I learned the hard way when I was put into the hospital for several days because I became extremely sick.
Can you share with us a specific moment or experience that impacted your academic journey?
When my mom made me take honors classes my sophomore year, she instilled confidence in me that I really could be excellent if I applied myself.
How did you balance your academic responsibilities with extracurricular activities and social life (if applicable)?
I sacrificed most of my social life to pursue academic excellence and sport achievement. I did not have much balance for the longest time, and it’s not something that I regret because I see it as necessary for me to be in the position that I am today.
Can you talk about a teacher, mentor, or family member who had a significant impact on your academic success?
When I was a freshman on the football team, I was the freshman quarterback. The starting senior quarterback was Cam Resatar. He was a great quarterback and leader for the team which is something that I aspired to replicate. He was also the star player on the high school basketball team. More than that, though, he had taken all of the hardest classes throughout high school and had a 34 on his ACT. He was the best in his class. This shocked me as a freshman, and I thought that I wouldn’t be able to do this. As I developed, I started to think, why not me? If he could do it, why couldn’t I? In the end, I’ve been able to achieve much of what he did.
How did your school support and encourage academic excellence, and what role did it play in your journey?
Every one of my teachers in Hubbard has been amazing. I seriously wouldn’t trade one of them for someone else. They all pushed me to be the best and helped me when I missed school or didn’t understand a concept.
Can you share with us any research, projects, or community service experiences that you have undertaken during your academic journey?
I hosted a food drive my sophomore year with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Mahoning County where donors donated 373 lbs of food.
How did you manage stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance during your academic journey?
The only proper way to handle stress is to confront it. My only stress came from work that needed to get done, so I did it. I pushed myself through every challenge that I faced.
What advice would you give to students who are struggling academically or are feeling discouraged?
What choice do you have but to persevere? If you don’t, nobody is going to give you a handout. Nothing in life comes easy, and discouragement is inevitable. You must push through.
How do you plan to use your academic success to make a positive impact on the world?
I will use my journey as an example to younger kids and be a mentor to them. I aim to become a doctor where I can directly and positively impact the lives of many patients.
Who is your role model and Why?
My father is my role model. He is the perfect man to look up to. He sacrifices himself each day to make sure that my family is provided for. I aspire to be a better version of him.
If there was one person that you would like to meet, past or present and why?
Jesus. I would love to see him in person to see the perfect man that he was and try to emulate his ways.
A favorite quote by which you live.
“Amor fati” is the quote, and it means “love fate.” Everything happens for a reason and is entirely necessary. One cannot control what happens to them, but one can absolutely control one’s reaction to it.
The journey of a K-12 is not just about achieving high academic honors but about the lessons they have learned, the challenges they have overcome, and the impact they have made on their school and community. By sharing their story, they can inspire others to strive for excellence, persevere in the face of challenges, and make a positive impact on the world. We hope this article has provided valuable insights into the inspiring journey of a K-12 and the lessons they can share to inspire others.