Quick takes and updates
Good story, great ending: A few weeks ago I shared the story of LaTonya Marshall, who traveled to Columbia and back daily to fulfill her dream of earning her law degree. Marshall didn’t want to disrupt the lives and routines of her four sons as she worked to reach her goal, so the family remained in Sedalia. Last week, she learned she passed the Missouri Bar Exam.
“I cannot even describe the feeling. I am still in shock,” she told me. “If I had to pick one word, I would say I was relieved. Studying for that exam while maintaining my household as well as my sanity was worse than all three years of law school together.”
She will be sworn in at the Supreme Court of Missouri on Oct. 2 at the Missouri Bar enrollment ceremony.
“After that, the law offices of Kempton and Russell have graciously extended office space to me, which is where I will start my practice,” Marshall said.
‘We lived our lives in fear:’ This week’s story about Ahmed Mohamed, the Texas teen who was arrested for bringing his homemade clock to school, reminded me of an odd Australian film about ballroom dancing. Well, that should pique your curiosity.
In the film “Strictly Ballroom,” lead character Scott Hastings is ostracized for breaking tradition and pushing to fulfill his creative drive. At a moment when he considers falling back in line with the authority figures’ demands, his father emerges from the background. Doug Hastings had been a ballroom champion, but like his son fell from favor because of his desire to be his own man.
“We had the chance (to excel) but we were scared,” Doug tells his son. “We walked away. We lived our lives in fear!”
Too many people are too fearful of too many things in today’s world, simply because those things are unlike what they have experienced in life. Different is not automatically bad or dangerous. We should not live our lives in fear.
Shining star: Christina Stratton may not have captured the Miss Teen USA title, but the reigning Miss Missouri Teen USA is still a winner by all accounts.
She finished the Miss Teen USA competition in the top 15 and received the Miss Photogenic Teen USA award, which came with a cash prize of $1,500; the honor also gave her exposure to top modeling agencies and fashion designers. Christina was selected to be a Sherri Hill Model, and last week she participated in New York Fashion Week.
“The prestigious Sherri Hill evening gowns are popular prom and pageant gowns and are often seen at red carpet events worn by celebrities such as Carrie Underwood, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner and Gabby Douglas,” Victoria Stratton, Christina’s mother, told me.
Christina has begun her junior year at Sacred Heart and her schedule remains packed. She is captain of the dance team, a class officer and a member of National Honor Society and the Math Team.
“The saying, ‘Shoot for the moon and even if you miss, you will still land among the stars,’ seems to ring true for Christina,” Victoria said.
On the move: Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri is getting plenty of use out of the van purchased for the club by Sedalians Gene and Frances Loveall. The day my column about the club’s capital campaign for a new van was published, Gene Loveall tracked down club officials and volunteered to foot the bill.
The van was purchased in early August and was used throughout the rest of the summer for Outdoor Adventures, Gardening and other programs, and also used to take club members on at least two special service projects, according to club Communications Coordinator Emily Jarrett.
“We’re working with Impact Signs to get it wrapped and hopefully people will see it around town soon and know it’s the club van,” Jarrett told me. “The van has been a great asset for the club, especially because it’s something our members directly benefit from. Without Bob’s column it may have taken us a lot longer to secure the needed funds. We’re very grateful for the support.”
The club is raising funds for a second van, and recently received a $114 donation from the Summer Program Torch Club, a service club for third and fourth graders. Every little bit helps.
Bob Satnan is the communications director for Sedalia School District 200.