Freshman Kennedy Naseem

Freshman Kennedy Naseem is excited to grow theatrically and academically.

Photo+by+Emma+McDonald
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Freshman Kennedy Naseem

Photo by Emma McDonald

Photo by Emma McDonald

Photo by Emma McDonald

Photo by Emma McDonald

Daisy Smith

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Photo by Emma McDonald

The lights come up on the stage at Raytown South High School. Freshman Kennedy Naseem stands center stage as the blinding spotlight hits her. As the tournament chair announces first place or dramatic interpretation, Naseem hears her name being called. She experienced a feeling of excitement as pride overwhelmed her.

Naseem is a part of the fine arts department and is in the cast of the winter production of “All My Sons.” She has been participating in fine arts for a large chunk of her life.

“Ever since I was little, I’ve been infatuated by music and the arts. I love to sing and act. I would dress up all the time and sing songs from shows like the Backyardigans,” Naseem said. “In third grade I did my first official show, Snow White, at Ibsen Dance Theatre. I was cast as Snow White and instantly fell in love with the spotlight. And here I am, still in love with it.”

Photo by Joey O’Kelley

For some, the idea of performing in front of a crowd of people can be intimidating. For Naseem, the feeling is out of this world, as she is overcome with emotion.

“It’s kind of hard to explain but when I’m on stage I feel a rush of every emotion all at once,” Naseem said. “I feel all of the energy from the cast and from the character I’m portraying.”

While Naseem is involved in the fine arts, she also enjoys other activities. She is a part of speech and debate, band and the swim team. She is also involved in other competitive programs.

“Last year, I competed in a competition called the PTA Reflections Program,” Naseem said. “It’s a competition in which you choose an art category and make a project based on that year’s theme. Last year’s theme was ‘Within Reach’ and I chose the Film Production category. I won first in State with my production ‘Paper Plane.’ This year, I’ve decided to do it again. With the help of my friends, I created a film entitled ‘Hero’ to fit the theme ‘Heroes Around Me.’ I hope to place at Nationals this year.”

Naseem is looking forward to the different experiences and friendships high school will bring. With friends like freshman Grace Guillaume in her life, she’s sure there’s no way high school won’t be a good time. The two have known each other since kindergarten, and through the years their friendship has grown.

“She doesn’t care about what anyone else thinks,” Guillaume said. “If she has something she wants to do, she will put everything into it.”

Only halfway through her freshman year, she has left a lasting impression on many.

Photo by Joey O’Kelly

“Kennedy exudes a level of maturity, dedication and leadership far above most students her age,” director Don Johnson said. “I am excited to have the opportunity to work with Kennedy. The LHS Theatre Department is truly fortunate to have Kennedy in our family.”

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