Student of the Week: Laura Shurden, Palisade HS senior
School: Palisade High School
After-school activities: My current sport, homework, running, any outdoor activity, work and sometimes finding time to just hang out by myself or with friends.
Favorite book: It’s hard to choose just one, but I’ll go with “The Power of One” by Bryce Courtenay.
Favorite TV show: “River Monsters” and most History Channel shows. “Bones” is good, too.
Favorite band or musician: I have too many. I’m not picky. I’m typically fine with whoever is on unless it’s country.
Parents: Gina and Darius Shurden.
Personal hero and why: My 11-year-old sister, Caroline. She has Down syndrome, which causes her to stutter, look and act differently, and have a harder time learning. Despite how people look at her, or how kids in her class treat her, she wakes up happy every morning, ready to embrace the day. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks or that she’s different. I respect her for that and hope to be as brave as she is one of these days.
Preferred college: University of Southern California-Los Angeles.
Preferred career: Occupational therapist.
Greatest achievement so far: When I was 9, I saved my little sister’s life. Rebekah was 4 at the time. It was January, and she and I walked to the canal behind our house to feed the ducks. She stepped on what she thought was the edge, but was really just overhanging weeds. I caught her before she fell into the freezing water. All that got wet was one of her cowgirl boots.
What you’d like to be your next greatest achievement: I can’t top my previous achievement, but I want to hike a fourteener next summer before I go off to college since it’s so convenient that I already live in Colorado.
Q: What has been your favorite high school class so far and why?
A: Anatomy and physiology. The human body amazes me, and it’s the only science I’m actually good at.
Q: What do you do for fun when you’re not in class?
A: I like to do anything outside: walks, runs, hikes and more. Sometimes I just want to sit around watching movies, though.
Q: What’s the best advice a teacher, coach or parent ever gave you?
A: “Sharing your most personal experiences is the best way to connect with someone.” – Ms. Nye.
Q: What will you miss about your school after graduation?
A: The dances! I love dancing and getting dressed up.
Q: What would you like to do after college?
A: Hopefully get a job relating to the degree I just earned and a house, maybe get married and do the whole family thing, too.
Q: If you could spend next summer anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: I would love to stay anywhere by the ocean, so I could go deep-sea fishing every day.