School Q&A: Anna Beth Goodman
Published 1:00 am Wednesday, January 17, 2024
Helena High School senior and member of the Helena Teen Council, the Helena Belles and a 2023 class member of Youth Leadership Shelby County talks her role in the community.
What inspires you to take such an active involvement in your community?
The inspiration for my involvement is my love for serving others and my community. I have been fortunate enough to have lived in Helena my entire life and witnessed the love and hospitality of this community. The love that the people share for our small town of Helena creates a bond that I definitely want to be a part of and help grow.
Have you had any mentors or role models who have shaped your view and opinion on community service and involvement?
I have had many people help shape me into the person I am today. These people have helped me develop a heart for service and loving others. These people would include Ms. McEntire, my seventh-grade biology teacher; Mrs. LaGrone, my choir teacher for the last four years; Jody Trautwein, the Helena campus coach for the First Priority Leadership Team; and Ms. Alice Lobell, City Council member and Helena Teen Council sponsor.
How have your experiences with Youth Leadership Shelby County, the Helena Belles and the Helena Teen Council shaped your perspective on community service?
Volunteerism has always been a major priority of mine. Giving back to my community is the best because this is where I have grown up, I have experienced the Helena atmosphere since I was little and it is a warm and inviting place that truly exemplifies what being a small town is like. I also believe the best gift someone can give is their time, and these organizations help to prove just that and provide camaraderie between me and the people of my community and surrounding communities.
Can you share a memorable project or initiative that is among your favorites to have been a part of?
The Helena Belle’s Tea Party is definitely a favorite. Each year the Helena Belle’s put on a tea party for the young girls of Helena. It is always so fun getting to see the young girls let out their inner Disney princess and feel so beautiful. All the proceeds from this event go to a local charity or organization in need. To me, this event is a win-win!
What is your favorite aspect of being on Helena’s Teen Council?
It is super cool getting to experience the “behind the scenes” of Helena. We get to see what the government side of Helena looks like and the amount of planning that goes into everything. We also get to witness many awards and honors given at the meeting such as the teacher winners of grant money to help technologically advance their classroom and students’ learning tools. Also, the teen council gets to make plans on our own to help further the involvement of teenagers in the community. We planned a movie night over the summer and it was very successful. Being a part of an organization like this really elevates my excitement for events and what is to come for Helena in growing the bond between its citizens.
Out of all of the organizations you are a part of, which has been your favorite?
I would have to say Youth Leadership Shelby County. This program helped me learn so much about my county, meet peer leaders from surrounding communities, introduce me to many job opportunities, and develop my leadership skills all while making great friendships with like-minded people.
Based on your experiences, what do you think are the most important opportunities or areas of focus for the youth in Helena Today?
I feel the teens and youth of Helena need to get more involved with their schools. I’ve loved my time of involvement in Helena High School through ambassadors, being a treasurer for our Student Government, being on the varsity Tennis team, being involved with multiple choirs, and our First Priority Leadership Team. By doing these things I have made new friends, learned how to work with others, and further develop my leadership skills.
What advice would you give to young teens and children in Helena who aspire to take on leadership roles in their community or school?
Get involved and have a love for serving others. Find your strength and what you are passionate about and use those things to help you find ways to be involved. Also, always show kindness towards others, people appreciate the small acts of a simple compliment or offering to help them. By getting involved and loving others, leadership roles will present themselves to you. Never be afraid to step out of our comfort zone to take those roles as they appear.
In regard to your recent car accident, how would you describe the support you’ve received from the community?
It has been an unbelievable amount of love and encouragement. When the accident first happened, some of my friends had driven by and texted me later asking how I was doing and letting me know they would be praying for me. My mom’s phone was blowing up with texts and calls asking if I was ok and what had happened at the wreck. It was overwhelming all the love my community showed towards me.
The next day I was at my ENT appointment and people were asking me about what the doctor had said, if I needed surgery, and how I was feeling that day. The day of my appointment also happened to be the day of the Tree Lighting and I was supposed to sing with the HHS choir, I was in no pain and the doctor said I could do anything that I felt up to doing, so I went to sing. People that I knew were popping up left and right with hugs and words of gratitude that the accident was not any worse than what it was. Again, the amount of love I felt from my community was unbelievable.
That next day I was supposed to ride with the Teen Council on the Fire Truck, I still had no pain so I went to participate in the parade. Both during and after people were asking how I was feeling, if I was doing ok, and telling me that they were praying for me.
The community of Helena really lifted me up through this time and it has been such a blessing to be surrounded by so much love. With all the people that have told me they were praying I do believe it is because of their prayer that I have had no pain and that I have been recovering at such a fast rate.
Looking forward, what are your career aspirations and goals for continued education?
I plan to attend Mississippi State University and eventually pursue a career in healthcare. I would like to do something in the field of a chiropractor, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, or a speech pathologist.