Senior Spotlight: Writing Her Own Story

Joelle Richard shares how she contributes to her community and what she hopes for after high school.

Cameran Martinez, Staff writer

Joelle Richard is a Senior who participates in a lot of school activities and finds new ways to help her community. Throughout her high school career she has taken over 6 AP classes and for her senior year, Joelle manages to maintain a 4.0, unweighted GPA while also balancing many difficult classes. For her senior year, she’s taking AP Lit and AP Stats. Even though math isn’t her strong suit, she wanted to challenge herself so she took AP stats and is doing really well which is something Joelle does a lot. Her older brother was in the class of 2020 and also went to Frederick. He used to tell her about all of the teachers he had and she explained that she was happy to have the pleasure of having the same teachers that he did, which created cool and special bonds with some of her teachers.

One of Joelle’s passions is theater. In 8th grade at Coal Ridge, she played Jane Banks in Mary Poppins and from there she fell in love with theater. She has been involved in the theater department all 4 years of high school and recently played the main villain, Queen Aggravain, in Frederick’s latest musical, Once

Joelle Richard (on the right,) playing Queen Aggravain in Once Upon a Mattress (Courtesy of Joelle Richard)

Upon a Mattress. She explains how Queen Aggravain is the complete opposite of her: she’s bossy and rude. Although her role was not like her at all, she enjoyed having to try and act like someone that she doesn’t relate to at all.

Joelle has also been in student council since sophomore year and has worked on planning various school events like assemblies, dances, school spirit events, and many other things. “We just do all these fun things to make the school united and happy so I just love it, I love doing it,” Joelle told The Lantern.

Joelle wants to study literature and become an author. Her dream school would be The University of Iowa, but if that doesn’t work out she has already been accepted into UNC. She also mentioned that she would also be okay with teaching and being an author on the side. She recalls her love for writing started when she was about 8 years old and she wrote about a dream she had and ever since then, she’s liked to write stories and call them her “little books.” As of right now, she’s working on two books and explains how she’s really making sure she has all the details organized and a good foundation laid for the books.

Joelle really enjoys volunteering at Crayons to Calculators, a non-profit organization, where they help pack backpacks for kids. She helps with can food drives and also is a big help at her church, St.Teresa’s.

On top of all of that, she dances at Dance Art Studio in Broomfield and does ballet and tap! She’s training for pointe shoes in ballet. She told The Lantern that she has failed the pointe shoe test and that “I think it’s okay that I haven’t gotten there yet.” She explains how it has made her stronger and how she hasn’t let it get her down. It’s powered her to try harder and realize it’s okay that you’re not always going to be where you want to be.

Joelle Richard’s big smile in her senior Sunday photo shoot. (Courtesy of Joelle Richard)

For her high school career, she’s taught herself time management skills, to communicate with her teachers a lot, and how to advocate for herself. “I think high school is the big part where you just need to try new things, find out that you might find something that you didn’t think you liked, and now… you’re there and you love it. It’s a good time to experiment and see what you’re passionate about.” Joelle explains. “I also think it’s important to surround yourself with good friends who make you feel better, who support you, and who love you.”

Joelle wants people to know that: “Don’t give up and push through. It’s going to get hard and things are going to get tough, but take a step back, relax and take a moment for yourself and tell yourself you can do it. Enjoy high school, these last four years are really memorable years for yourself.”