February 28, 2010 in Idaho Voices

Ready for the spotlight

Lakeland student’s plate full with 4-H, Adsido and drama
Patty Hutchens
 
Kathy Plonka photo

Lakeland senior Carson Sharrai, pictured at the school in Rathdrum, is the president of the drama club and would like to go into theater as a career.kathypl@spokesman.com
(Full-size photo)

Sharrai’s favorites

Food: Italian

TV Show: “American Idol”

Play: “Rent”

Author: Jody Picoult

Country to visit: Finland because of her ancestry

Looking for Cool Kids

Is there an area youngster in your life with an interesting hobby, unique achievement, or who is just an all-around neat kid? E-mail your suggestions for Cool Kids to feature to correspondent Patty Hutchens at pattyhutchens@ yahoo.com.

Carson Sharrai is one busy teenager. The Lakeland High School senior is involved in everything from drama club to 4-H to athletics and is still able to maintain a grade-point average that earns her the privilege of being in the National Honor Society. While the 17-year-old’s interests leave her with little free time and are very diverse, Sharrai knows one thing for sure: she would not want to give any of them up.

“I’ve always been busy,” said Sharrai. “There is never a dull moment, but it is worth it.”

In addition to serving as president of the Drama Club, Sharrai is also in her fourth year on the Lakeland High School golf team, serves as vice president of the school’s National Honor Society, is an officer for the 4-H Teen Association of Idaho and participates in a group at school called Adsido, which meets weekly to discuss social issues including poverty, drugs, homelessness and racism.

“We have discussions about things that are important to us and what we can do to bring awareness about certain issues to our local community,” said Sharrai, who adds that Adsido has recently teamed up with a local Rotary club to work on various projects.

One event the group participated in was a trip to Portland where it met with different missions and distributed care packages to the homeless, something that Sharrai said opened her eyes to the challenges faced by those living on the streets. But as much as she enjoys helping out others, she said what she really enjoys is the dynamic discussions that take place among the members of Adsido.

“It makes you a better person because you open yourself up to other people’s thoughts and views,” she said.

As part of her involvement with the National Honor Society, Sharrai participates in activities that give back to her community.

“We just got done doing a blood drive,” she said. “But we didn’t just have the school. We opened it up to the community.”

Sharrai has also been an active member of 4-H for the past eight years – a likely choice of activities for her given the fact she has grown up in a family that counts horses, goats, dogs, cats and rabbits among the family pets.

“My mom always made sure we were doing something productive,” said Sharrai, referring to her and her brother Jayce, 20. “She did 4-H, too, when she was young.”

At last summer’s 4-H state teen conference, she presented a speech in front of more than 300 members and was elected secretary to the 4-H Teen Association for the state of Idaho. She and her fellow board members are planning this year’s conference which will take place in Moscow in June and offers many different opportunities for attendees to learn about things from leadership to physical fitness.

“It is really versatile and you can choose what you want to do,” she said.

Sharrai is busy but she said she is never too busy to spend time with her family – especially during the winter months.

“Snow brings winter fun for us,” said Sharrai referring to her family’s ski trips to Schweitzer Mountain Resort.

But even with all of these activities, the one that Sharrai says she enjoys most is her time in the Drama Club.

“I like building scenarios,” said Sharrai, who would like to get into Lake City Playhouse or the Spokane Civic Theatre prior to attending North Idaho College next fall. “I want to get a couple productions under my belt before I go to college.”

She said that she has been involved in about two productions per year in high school and has also gone to state competitions in drama for the last two years – one year presenting an eight-minute monologue and the other as part of an ensemble. And while she has performed in everything from musicals to drama, she said it is the classics which she enjoys the most.

“It shows more of your talent and allows you to be more versatile,” Sharrai said.

Looking ahead to her career path, Sharrai wants to try her hand in the theater industry, but knows it is a difficult road. She has a backup plan, though, and that includes teaching both drama and history.

“It’s helpful having a theater background because it can bring history to life,” said Sharrai, who adds that her own teachers at Lakeland have been a big influence on her. “They are very dynamic.”

Her diverse interests are proof that Sharrai is a confident young woman who is not afraid to face new challenges, something she encourages all young people to do.

“Don’t be afraid to try things because if you don’t take the risk, you’re not going to get the reward,” she said.

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