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Kootenai grad Jenna Karpinksi vaulted past shyness

Jenna Karpinski plans to study cosmetology. (COURTESY OF KOOTENAI JUNIOR/SENIOR HIGH / COURTESY OF KOOTENAI JUNIOR/SENI)
Jenna Karpinski plans to study cosmetology. (COURTESY OF KOOTENAI JUNIOR/SENIOR HIGH / COURTESY OF KOOTENAI JUNIOR/SENI)

Jenna Karpinksi struggled with shyness, but found ways to overcome it during high school.

“When I was younger I was very shy and I didn’t talk to many people,” she said.

However, with the support of her aunt and uncle, with whom she’s lived since seventh grade, Karpinksi began taking steps to branch out during her years at Kootenai Junior/Senior High School.

She joined several clubs and tried different activities, including track and field during her junior year. She proved to have a talent for the pole vault and qualified for state. She placed fifth in her district.

“I ended up doing pretty well,” she said. “This year I’ve just been doing better. I’m working on getting higher heights.” Her personal record is 9 feet.

Her success in track helped Karpinksi overcome her shyness. She also credits her supportive family and her volleyball coach for helping break her out of her shell. Of her coach, Karpinski says, “She really believed in her players and that really helped.”

These new social skills and self-confidence will be handy when Karpinksi moves to Spokane next fall to study cosmetology at Paul Mitchell the School. Several family members are cosmetologists and Karpinski’s aunt, who knew about her passion for cosmetology, encouraged her to pursue it.

Karpinksi encourages other teens who are shy to take a chance and try a new activity.

“If you like it, continue to do it, that way you’ll make friends,” she said. “If you love it, they love it, too, and you have something in common.”


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