There are so many amazing students at J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate. Students excel in a wide variety of areas, such as sports, arts, and academics. JCR is truly a place where students empower each other and show fantastic leadership. The staff at Eye on the Storm have decided on 10 such amazing and Trending Ten students that they believe should be recognized for their talents and achievements. Learn more about these 10 extraordinary students that were chosen for the 2022 Trending Ten!
Mary Penta Reddy is the first prize winner of the “Your Voice is Power” mashup competition. Her amazing skill and talent led her to win a whopping $5ooo! She’s a kind and optimistic student who loves music and art and spending time with her friends. She is passionate about her goals and hopes to achieve even greater heights.
- – The Editor
Tell us about yourself and what are your passions?
I’m Mary, I’m a grade 10 student at J Clarke. I’m very passionate about coding and hope to become a computer scientist someday. I also love things like music and art, which led me to take part in the “Your Voice is Power” competition. I love to draw during my time at home and I’m interested in learning about animation. My passion for coding also led me to be a part of the computer science club here at Richardson. I feel like I’m just an average student like everyone else but I hope to one day be a leader for my school community.
What got you interested in music and mashups?
What got me interested in music and mashups? *Laughs* Well, in early 2016 my parents really wanted me to get into music because my grandpa and older relatives were really into music. They used to sing at churches and they played the keyboard. They were also self-taught, by the way. And they wanted me to do something as well, so they enrolled me into music classes.
I learned how to play the piano and I’m still learning today as well. So that’s how I got a little bit of interest in music. But then I heard about this thing called “Earsketch” where you can code and make music, so I thought it was just the thing for me. I also heard about the mashup competition, so I wanted to join just for fun and hopefully get a $25 Amazon gift card which was the prize for the top hundred. It turned out so much better than I expected when I won first place.
Who do you think made the biggest impact in your success in music?
I think what made the biggest impact was my music teachers and classes. I learned about so many things I wouldn’t have otherwise. I use the knowledge I gained from these classes to make my remix.
Is music something you would like to pursue as a career, or as a hobby?
I actually thought about this a lot, but I would say as a hobby. The music industry is very difficult to either make it or not. But I’m very passionate about pursuing a career as a computer scientist. I want to get a stable career and do music and art on the side as a hobby.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I hope to be in a very good university. McMaster University in particular is what I’m hoping to achieve because they have really good computer science and coding programs. So, I hope to go there and also have a part-time job during that time.
What advice do you have for students that want to make a change?
“No matter what others say, you can make a change and you can make a difference”
I’d say start by doing small work, or stuff you know will help your community. If you see some problem or if you want to make something better, I think you should start from there and find ways to collaborate with other people as well.
What keeps you motivated to follow your passions?
*Laughs* Well, actually my biggest motivation would probably be that I want to be independent. I don’t want to rely on my parents and I want to achieve things myself. My dad’s a coder so that’s why my parents wanted me to be in the tech field. So I think my ambition and independence is my main motivation.
What do you think about the quote “Where words fail, music speaks”?
I think that music makes you understand things that you wouldn’t have otherwise if you were speaking. Music gives you feeling, it gives you vibes. Music gives you a sense of understanding that you can’t find anywhere else. Music is like finding a voice, the meaning of each song varies from person to person. Music is truly a beautiful thing.
What is a challenge that you have had to overcome?
*Laughs* I guess it would be just taking a step forward. I can’t say I participate the most in class or in general. So the fact that I pushed myself to enter the mashup competition was really new, and I had a lot of fun as well. This is a new step for me and I strive to become a leader in the future.
Silly question: do you like pineapple on pizza?
*Laughs* Yep, that is quite a controversial topic. I’ve actually never tried pineapple on pizza. But if I had to imagine the nice taste of pizza and the odd sweetness/sourness of pineapple, then I’d probably not like it.
*Laughs* Actually, I don’t like pineapple at all.
Silly question: What do you think is the meaning of life?
“If you find happiness, you’re successful”
No matter what you get in life, whether it be money or power. If you don’t have people who are important to you and it’s all meaningless. Happiness is what makes life enjoyable, and if you find it then you’re the most successful person in the world.
Silly question: Harry Potter movies or Star Wars movies?
Harry Potter, because I’ve not watched Star Wars ever. And really, who doesn’t love Harry Potter?
Shoutout to all the students passionate about music and art. You’re what makes Richardson such a vibrant school. Strive for your goals and continue making an impact on our school community!
- – The Editor