Who’s the dream interview for Carolyn King '20, L10 News’ managing editor and executive director of post production? King has already set School records in three track events, but which other would she like to try? Find out this and more in 5 Questions 4.
If you could interview anyone in the world for L10 News, who would you select and what would you discuss?
The person I would most like the Lawrenceville community to hear from is Christian Picciolini. He spoke at the 2018 Student Diversity Leadership Conference, and he was by far the most memorable speaker I have ever heard. Picciolini joined a white supremacist group as a teen and became a skinhead leader. But he got out of this extremist group and after many years and conversations, became an activist trying to reduce the growth of hate groups.
I was inspired by how genuine Picciolini was. He makes no excuses for his problematic past but instead seeks to make things right by reaching out to white supremacists and helping them leave extremist organizations. He’s an expert on extremism in a very unique way that Lawrentians can learn a lot from to better understand the spread of hate in America. But beyond that, Picciolini is incredibly passionate and authentic about the very cause that reminds him of the worst things he has done in his life. I admire his courage in confronting his mistakes head on, especially because his choices caused so much harm. I would love to learn more about what has silenced the doubts in his head and empowered him to fight for what is right.
You’ve set records for Big Red track in the indoor 4x800, outdoor 4x800, and indoor DMR, and earned spots at the New Balance Nationals and Penn Relays. If time wasn’t an issue, what other track/field event would you like to try?
The 800 is a perfect fit for me - it’s long enough that there’s a huge strategic element, but fast enough that there is never a dull moment. But if I were coordinated enough to do a non-running event, I would love to be a pole vaulter. It must be so fun to do an event where you get to fly through the air! Plus, in my interview with the pole vault squad for L10 News, I witnessed the same tight-knit, supportive team dynamic that we have had on our record-breaking relays.
Your family co-founded Colin’s Kids, a non-profit that both aids research into congenital heart defects (CHD) and supports families dealing with CHD. You’ve been incredibly dedicated – and successful – in raising awareness of, and support for, CHD here at Lawrenceville. What advice do you have for other students who are passionate about a cause of their own?
I would encourage other students to find a unique, and ideally experiential, way to connect with a cause they want to share with our community. For me, it has been making fleece tie blankets to give to children in the hospital. I started the fleece tie blanket-making initiative for Colin's Kids when I was in elementary school, but this service project has grown like never before here at Lawrenceville. I think what has made this project so successful is that it is a fun and easy way for anyone at Lawrenceville to help with the cause. Sitting around the blankets cutting strips and tying knots also gets people talking about Colin’s Kids’ mission, and asking questions about my brother’s story and Colin’s story.
Which fictional character from a book or movie would you most like to meet?
I think the character that would be the most meaningful to meet would be Auggie Pullman from the middle-grade book “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio. Auggie is a fifth grader who has been homeschooled his whole life due to surgeries for his facial deformity. “Wonder” follows his first year in middle school, where he encounters bullies but through it all, makes incredible friends and develops self-confidence.
Stepping into Auggie’s shoes for 300 pages when I was in fifth grade helped me to switch from meeting marginalized people with sympathy to meeting them with empathy. I began to more genuinely seek to understand others and recognize their dignity instead of being uncomfortable with discussing different identifiers. This desire to know and respect people better started me on the path that led to my involvement in social justice issues.
If you could time travel back to another period in history, where would you go and when?
Ever since I started to research Frederick Douglass this June with the Heely Scholars program, I’ve been left with so many unanswerable questions about Douglass. So I would love to travel to the reconstruction period to get some answers from the man himself! I’d ask him for the insider scoop on his messy split from William Lloyd Garrison and get to know his first wife, Anna Douglass, about whom very little is known. Since my paper is focusing on the importance of literacy to Douglass, I would definitely have a lengthy conversation about what he was reading, and maybe even bring him back some of my favorites (real advance copies!).
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