Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Holthus lecture was a touchdown

Friday, February 9th, 2018

By Brenna Eller
Opinion Page Editor

Mitch Holthus, the man who paints a picture with his words as “The Voice of the Kansas City Chiefs”, spoke at the first Dillon Lecture Series of the Hutchinson Community College 2018 spring semester on Tuesday at the Sports Arena.

In his speech, “Success in Being Different”, he used several examples of being different in a giving manner.

Mitch Holthus is a Smith Center native and still gives on-air and Twitter shoutouts every now and then to the Redmen. He and his wife, Tami, who is from McPherson, both graduated from Kansas State. She played basketball and later became the assistant coach for their daughter’s basketball team at Silver Lake, which won a state championship in the Sports Arena.

Along with announcing Chiefs and ESPN games, Mitch Holthus also does some things to help others. When Joplin, Missouri was devastated by a tornado, he helped provide water for the community. He also helps people within his job.

A blind man, Cameron Black, one of many affected by Mitch Holthus and his ability to speak a portrait, learned to love football because of Holthus. As shown in a video from The Kansas City Star, Holthus has made a huge impact in the man’s life because Black’s daughter, who has the same disease, also listens to the Chiefs’ games.

After seeing the video for the first time, Holthus said, “It stopped me in my tracks. If I mean everything to Cameron, if I can paint a picture verbally to someone who can’t see, I am helping someone by being different.”

Holthus also mentioned and introduced three HutchCC students in the crowd – Tyler Pauley from Garden Plain, Jeff Brandon from Hutchinson, and Ashton Hawkins from Smith Center, who all have done extraordinary things at this college, and work hard in and outside of school.

At the press conference before the event, Holthus answered questions regarding his career as a well-known sports announcer. One question that was asked pertained to a possible downfall in NFL fans in the last few years. He answered that it was a good question and that it “seems” to be a decline to some, but said that people don’t see everything with the NFL, only what is covered by reporters.

He pointed out the national anthem protests becoming a popular look on the league, but also explained that people don’t see the “behind-the scenes” action of players. Some, like Alex Smith, do remarkable things outside of the Chiefs. Smith helps foster kids earn college scholarships and donates to their organization.

Because he witnesses generous acts with the Chiefs and throughout Kansas, Mitch Holthus has a soft spot for the people and the state itself.

“I love this state, I made three career moves, yet still remained here in Kansas,” Holthus said.

He said how honored he was to speak at the Sports Arena and to share his experiences. Being from Smith Center has taught him how to be the man he is today and he seeks to find others who are different with success.

“To take the game beyond the game, it then becomes a celebration for anyone,” Holthus said.

One question that stood out to him was asked by a high school student from Inman. She asked about his love for announcing and how he became who he is today.

“Who you are and how you were raised makes you original,” Holthus said. “We all come from different home lives, but work ethic is a huge part of making an impression too.”

He stated several times that to be a good journalist, work ethic is important, but being a journalist also comes with great sacrifices. He has had to manage a family alongside his career, and although he loves what he does, Holthus expressed regrets for the moments he has missed, such as his daughter Hayley’s championship game. Brian, his son, had always dreamed of running on the Sports Arena court like his sister had. That never happened because his team never got to state.

During the lecture, Holthus presented a slideshow of the steps of differences that lead to success. Throughout his speech, he used a metaphor of floodwaters, such as the Arkansas River, or Gulf of Mexico flooding lives and trying to slow people down from reaching their ultimate goals. He explained “Empathetic Equity” – Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

The example he used for this was one of his favorite Chiefs, Derrick Johnson, who has funded about 15 reading dens in Kansas City and does things without expecting a reward, only from the kindness of his heart. In the summer last year, Johnson spent a lot of time practicing football with a younger player who hadn’t even made it through tryouts. Holthus noticed this and thought it was generous and showed him the kind of man Johnson is aside from football.

There were many more examples and topics. One of the last differences, “Being Different by Standing Firm”, was to show that people have to work for their success and shouldn’t run from their responsibilities.

“My job is to stand the post when it’s good or bad,” Holthus said. “Many times it isn’t easy, but you still stand the post like a marine in front of the embassy.”

Finishing with the last difference where Holthus discovered his relative, who was a poor European man that moved to Nebraska and joined the Union in the Civil War. He stood shoulder to shoulder with the black men in the blue uniforms. It was a major step in the American culture, and Holthus said he was proud to be related to the man that didn’t look down upon the African American men fighting by his side.

This thought led to his final statement that we will all leave marks on the world, but “what footprints will we leave?”

 

Drama around the clock

Friday, February 9th, 2018

By Pablo Sanchez
Staff writer

The 24-Hour Play festival is Saturday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m. and is located in the BJ Warner Recital Hall in Stringer Fine Arts Center.

When it comes to the 24-Hour Play Festival, there are four skits that the students work to write, audition for, rehearse and then, finally, perform.

“Memorizing your lines can be hard because some are short and some are long,” Isaac Glover, a Hutchinson Community College student majoring in the drama said.

“Keep moving forward,” Glover said. “Don’t give up, life moves on.”

For those involved with theater and acting, drama can be both rewarding and stressful according to another drama major, Jocelyn Reed.

“There are going to be bad days and performances,” Reed said.

When Reed on the stage, she believes that the audience hardly notices her or isn’t paying attention.

“Freshmen year is good time to express yourself,” Reed said. “It gives you an open window to experience new things.”

Reed and Glover are both involved with the 24-Hour Play Festival and will be performing along with their peers on Saturday.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Reed said. “The more you fail, the more you learn. It’s more about diving into the character to get the full aspect of what you love doing the most.”

Everyone shows up at 8:30 Friday evening and does a brief introduction and audition if you’re an actor. Actors then can present any special skills they have that may be incorporated into the show.

Following this, everyone leaves except the playwrights. The playwrights write through the night and have a script done before the actors get there at 7. Then the actors and directors and technicians have until 730 that night to prepare everything needed to bring the shows to life. Curtain goes up at 730 and we see 6 new plays.

This year we have 42 people participating in various capacities

In order for any show to happen, there needs to be lighting and sound technicians, and everything has to be as spot on as possible. Reed and Glover both have experience as technicians and both said they loved it even though understanding when to cue the lights and sound at the right time is a challenge.

Deidre Ensz-Mattox, Director of Theatre at HutchCC, fell in love with theater in high school, where she acted and participated in plays.

She attended HutchCC many years ago, where she had her first college theater experience. Ensz-Mattox said she loves her work. She said she wouldn’t want to do anything else. Ensz-

She teaches all of the performance-based courses and is the faculty sponsor for the college’s chapter of Delta Psi Omega, the National Collegiate Theater Organization.

HutchCC theatre students headed to Iowa for competition

Friday, December 1st, 2017

By Jack Greenwood
Staff writer

Winter break is coming up, which means most students will use that time to detox from the stresses of the semester and spend time with family. However, a handful of students from Hutchinson Community College’s theatre department will be finding scripts, rehearsing scenes, preparing portfolios and presentations and perfecting performance pieces.

In January, four students will be competing for the prestigious Irene Ryan Scholarship at the region give American College Theatre Festival. The festival is an opportunity for theatre majors to be submerged in their craft and work on improving through workshops and competitions.

To compete for the scholarship, the productions that HutchCC put on had to be entered and judged. A judge would then choose two of the actors to compete, whom he felt exceeded performance quality. For their performances in the September’s “Gruesome Playground Injuries,” students Jack Greenwood, Valley Center, and Gabby Hernandez, Hutchinson, will compete. They are joined by nominees from the November production of “The Importance of Being Earnest” Jocelyn Reed, Hutchinson, and Isaac Glover, Hutchinson.

In addition to acting, students also can also explore stage makeup, costumes, playwriting, directing, stage managing, set design, dance, lighting and sound design.

Greenwood will be competing in the acting competition but has also written a 10-minute play that has been submitted for consideration for scholarship, and will possibly receive a staged concert reading.

Reed will be competing in acting and stage managing.

“It’s an honor to be representing a college that really values the success of its students and understands the importance of live theatre,” Reed said. “Theatre can expose people to different walks of life and social issues. It teaches us how to be empathetic to the plights of those different from us.”

Each acting nominee will take a partner to act with them in the competition. Partners include Dylan Kramer, McPherson, who will be Greenwood’s partner, Hannah Gomez, Hutchinson, who will be Glover’s partner, Lauren Couchman, Newton, who will be Reed’s partner and Alex Acosta, Hutchinson, who will be Hernandez’s partner.

“It’s an exciting to have this opportunity, I’m thankful,” Acosta said.

“I’m excited to get to do the workshops and to make connections,” Couchman said. “I’m also really excited to compete with Jocelyn in the Irene Ryan competition, it will be interesting to see how far we get.”

The festival also an opportunity to make professional and school connections. HutchCC students fall into region five, which consists of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. Most four-year colleges will be represented at the festival and have recruitment opportunities for students.
The festival also attracts theatre professionals from across the country, including Broadway. This year, famed playwright Neil Labute will be a part of the festival.

Some schools also enter their shows to be transferred to festival and will be performed again in Des Moines.

“Last year, the festival gave me the opportunity to bond with the people who are now my best friends, so I’m excited to see how the new students enjoy it,” Hernandez said. “It also helped me realize that I want to be involved in theatre for the rest of my life.”

Alumnus of HutchCC now in Kansas House of Representatives

Friday, December 1st, 2017

By Amanda Carney
Online Editor

It all started in early June when Patsy Terrell died. Kansas District 102 in the House of Representatives no longer had a representative. Jason Probst then stepped up and took on a whole new role. Probst became the new representative of the Kansas District 102 in the House of Representatives in June.

Probst had a lot to learn before the legislative session began.

A Reno County native, Probst attended Nickerson High School and later attended Hutchinson Community College.

“HCC provided me with a better education than any other school I have attended,” Probst said. “I had professors who believed in me, invested time and energy in me and made me feel like I had something valuable to contribute to the world,”

At age 19 he was expecting his first kid, a daughter, Erica. He later had a son, Mitchell, who is a current HutchCC student. Probst knows all about hard work and providing for a family.
Probst was long-time journalist and opinion writer at The Hutchinson News before becoming a politician.

Amanda Carney: How do you get more you people interested in voting, especially in non-presidential elections?

Jason Probst: This has been a difficult challenge. Voters seem to get excited about presidential campaigns, when in truth those local elections – city council, school board, state representatives – have a much more direct affect on voters’ lives. My approach is to help people understand how important these elections are to them, and how much more weight their vote carries in local elections. There have been elections here in Hutchinson that have been decided by fewer than a dozen votes.

AC: What can improve the relationship between politicians and the media?

JP: I think there needs to be some effort on both ends to make the relationship less adversarial. The relationship between the media and politicians is like any relationship – it needs to be fair and mutually respectful, and it requires nurturing from both sides. In this position, I will make mistakes. I am certain I’ll do something, or support something, unpopular. I’d hope that’s not the only time I hear from the media, because I feel like I’m doing a lot of positive work as well – much of which will likely go unreported. On the other side of things, politicians need to fairly recognize that journalists have a duty to keep the public informed, and that they’re simply doing their job, which is also very important to a free society.

AC: How important is it to fund public education?

JP: It’s vitally important to fund education. If we don’t properly educate and invest in the next generation of producers, business owners, leaders, caregivers and workers, we are asking for trouble in the future. We need to have honest, and difficult, conversations about what that education looks like going forward and how to balance those costs with all the other demands on taxpayers, but there should never be any question that education is an investment in the sort of future we hope to see – and we’ll most likely get what we pay for.

AC: What challenges do you you face being a rookie politician?

JP: There is a steep learning curve, that reaches into a variety of areas. I’ve had to consume a great deal of information from a number of people who have expertise in different professions. I’ve had to learn how to manage a very intense schedule – one that includes attending public events, reaching out to constituents, meeting with people who work in state government, and other community leaders who can talk to me about what’s going on in our community. Also, since being a legislator is considered a part time gig, and the pay matches, I’ve had to put a lot of effort into finding various contract jobs to provide some income to pay my bills. But I never expected it would be easy, particularly if it’s to be done the way I think it ought to be done.

AC: What shaped your political views?

JP: My life. I grew up relatively poor. Neither of my parents graduated high school, so the idea of going to college was a foreign idea in our household. By 19, I was about to be a father. I worked in a restaurant and made very little money.

I didn’t have health insurance. I worked like crazy to make enough money for my young family, and we often didn’t have enough. I worked jobs I didn’t like. I sometimes worked two jobs I didn’t like.

In those early days, we relied on public assistance to get by, to provide food and health care for my child. But over time, things got better. I attended college in the evenings, and worked my way into a better career.
Over the years, I feel I’ve more than repaid the help I received early on – and that early investment in my family likely changed the course of my life, and the lives of my children in a positive way. All of those experiences shaped the way I see the world.

I know firsthand how difficult it can be to keep your head above water, and I know how hopeless it can feel when year after year all you’re doing is working to survive. I’d like to help people have better opportunities to thrive, and create ways for more people to find more wealth.

This, I think, is what creates a more robust economy in which we all can participate and prosper.

Cheating on finals: a widespread problem

Friday, December 1st, 2017

By Merissa Anderson

Collegian Editor

Winter break is less than a week away and while most students would rather be celebrating the end of the first semester of this school year, many are instead busy hitting the books before the college hell week packed full with finals for every class.

Of course, as many students and teachers would agree, the undeniably best way to confidently pass your finals is to review past exams, show up to class throughout the semester and to thoroughly study notes before the final exam.

Despite these option, cheating is still extremely prevalent in today’s college sphere with nearly 75 percent of college students admitting to cheating according to a study by The Boston Globe.

Student Perspective

Hutchinson Community College student and football player, Ta’Juan Williams of Daytona Beach, Florida, has seen the creative ways that students cheat on homework and tests in college.

“I’ve seen some crazy stuff,” Williams said.  “I’ve seen teachers look straight at a person while the person is throwing up the answers with their hands from across the room and then look straight at the teacher and the teachers aren’t even paying attention.”

Williams doesn’t support cheating but sympathizes with those who are cornered into doing so.

“People cheat for their grade,” Williams said. “Not everybody is that same and not everybody has the mentality to sit in a classroom and learn like everybody else does.”

Despite understanding students’ reasoning behind cheating, Williams in no way encourages it.

“I’m not saying it’s a good thing to cheat, but say you don’t know nothing at all, you’re not very talented in the classroom, then what’s your options?” Williams said. “You can either bomb the test or try to pass it by cheating.”

Williams also warns students of the repercussions that come along with cheating on college work.

“Getting kicked out of college for cheating isn’t anybody’s fault but yours,” Williams said. “If you don’t get caught, you’re going to feel very guilty about that but suck it up and say ‘hey, I got away with it this time but maybe next time I won’t have to do it and maybe next time there won’t be a next time.'”

Ultimately, Williams recommends that students simply buckle down and study so they won’t have to spend winter break regretting their decision to cheat.

“Just study,” Williams said. “Study hard and put the electronics down and get into your books. It’s finals week and you get to go home for a whole month and there ain’t no sense in reminiscing a whole month about what you coulda, woulda, shoulda did. If you want to cheat, don’t cheat – study. It’s the hardest thing to do but you’ve got to have that attention span to pass.”

Staff perspective

If studying isn’t making the class material easier to understand, then the free tutoring services in the Rimmer Learning and Resource Center may be able to assist with understanding what will be on the finals.
Kimberly Shea is a HutchCC paraprofessional and part-time math instructor and oversees the math tutoring lab.

Apart from the usual cellphones used for cheating, Shea has also witnessed a variety of creative ways that students have tried to get away with cheating.

“We’ve had a student come in with problems written on pieces of paper and we asked them what they were and he said that they were problems that he made up and he just wanted to see if he could work through them but they were actually from a take-home test,” Shea said.

“We’ve had students that would try to write on their arms or write in on their caps and act like they’re thinking and flip the cap over or slip their sleeve up.”

With the amount of work that it takes to cheat, Shea recommends simply studying.

“First of all, cheating takes a lot of effort because you have to be very creative and you spend a lot of time doing that,” Shea said. “I would just recommend, rather than cheating, spend time going back through all of the old homework assignments and exams and coming to our math lab and getting some help.”

If a student does choose to cheat during finals or any other time during the school year and gets caught, punishment could range from a zero on the assignment to being expelled from college.

“Students can get an automatic zero on exams and really it’s up to the teacher’s digression,” Shea said.
“If you take it over to the president they could be removed from the college and expelled which means they would lose their scholarships and be kicked out of the dorms in a worst case scenario.”

It’s time for students to return or sell back textbooks

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

By Emma Cox

Campus Editor

As the semester come to a close, it’s time for students to return textbooks to the Hutchinson Community College bookstore.

Main campus buyback hours: Monday and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is no buyback available to students on Friday.

McPherson Buyback hours: December 6th 2 pm – 6 pm.

Newton buyback hours: December 7th 2 pm – 6 pm.

The students that will be attending buyback and wish to sell their books to Nebraska Book Company for cash will need a photo ID.

If you are a distance student who would like to sell your books back to the company, you are required to send an e-mail to campusstore@hutchcc.edu with the title, author, edition, and ISBN number of the books you are interested in selling back as well as your name and student ID number.

If you are on a book scholarship, you are required to return your books to the HutchCC Main Campus Bookstore by 4 p.m. on Friday December 8th as stated in your Book Rental Contract. If they are not returned by this time, you will be charged the full purchase price of the books. Your book scholarship paperwork (contract and receipts) and student ID are also required. Scholarship students cannot sell their books to Nebraska Book Company.

If you are a book-rental student, you are required to return your books to the HutchCC main campus bookstore by 4 p.m. on Dec. 8. You can turn your books in as late as Dec. 15, but you will be charged an additional $50 late fee.

Book rental students cannot sell their books back to Nebraska Book Company.

Busy bees: Resident Assistants on the go at HutchCC

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

By Brenna Eller

Opinion Page Editor

On visitations and check in days for Hutchinson Community College, the Resident Assistants usually help show future students around campus and help them get their rooms situated. But that’s not all the RA’s do.

They are also very involved in the activities on campus and often run certain clubs.

There are currently 22 RA’s at HutchCC and each is assigned a resident hall to watch over. You know when the popcorn burns and residents are supposed to evacuate the dorms? Well the RA’s get to report it and make sure everyone is out of the building.

Resident Assistants are sophomores who characterize a responsible, achieving student and are the “role models” on campus.

Both Elland Hall and Kent Hall have RA’s living in the buildings. The Resident Assistants are to make sure that the rules of the dorms are kept and are being followed.

Another task RA’s do is help residents get back into their rooms if they get locked out. The numbers for the Resident Assistants are shared in your dorms in case you need to call the RA on duty. Or they usually have an RA sticker on their dorm doors.

Lane Wiens is an RA for Kent Hall. He is also the president of the Student Government Association on campus.

“As an RA, we are responsible for all of the residents on our floor and we also encourage our residents to go to the different activities that the Campus Activities Board and the dorms promote, such as bowling at The Alley, Homecoming activities, and a variety of others.”

With such a busy schedule, one might think Resident Assistants are overloaded with tasks. Lane Wiens said,”No, it’s really not too bad. Sometimes it may seem like a lot to do, but it really isn’t.”

As mentioned earlier, the RA’s deal with fire alarms quite often. Some caused by burnt foods, candles, and other hazardous items. Wiens gave his input on what his job is during those fire alarm drills.

“When the fire alarms go off, it is our job to try and get everyone out of the building as quickly as possible and keep them out of the building until the fire department or the adult on duty says we can go back in,” Wiens said.

There is a lot of responsibility held on the RA’s shoulders, so they deserve some appreciation from time to time.

Campus bookstore offering donuts, coffee rest of semester

Friday, November 17th, 2017

By Jack Greenwood
Staff writer

To college students, time and food are perhaps the most valuable things in life.

Now, students have access to a quick, easy and delicious breakfast. In the campus bookstore, Daylight Donuts and coffee are now available for students until Dec. 6.

“We saw a need for students to grab something quick on their way to classes,” said bookstore staff member Jacqueline Eaton. “So far, we’ve sold 100 percent of the donuts we provide, and about 70 percent of the coffee. It’s been so popular, we are discussing bringing it back next semester.”

Currently, only students who are on a meal plan and live on campus have access to a breakfast provided by the college in the dining hall. A few years ago, there used to be a café inside the library that sold coffee, smoothies and baked goods, but it has since gone under.

However, students seem to be pleased with the donuts and coffee provided in the union.

“I think it’s a good thing for students that need a quick boost in the morning” said HutchCC student Dylan Kramer, McPherson. “I haven’t been down there yet, but I’m excited to try it.”

Should the donuts and coffee prove popular, more options could be on the horizon.

“The campus store staff had discussed offering frozen breakfast sandwiches, cereal, milk and a whole number of things but finally settled on coffee and donuts because of the cost to our students,” Eaton said. “As long as there is an interest in this by both students and staff, we would love to expand this. Into what yet, we are not quite sure.”

Student aids in campus rescues

Friday, November 10th, 2017

By Amanda Carney
Online Editor

As a society, we often rely on the kindness of people’s hearts to make it through our day-to-day routines. Whether this is letting someone in 5 o’clock traffic, just giving someone a smile to brighten their day, or even giving someone the Heimlich maneuver.

This is exactly what Hutchinson Community College student, Colten Liby did. Not only did Liby save someone from choking by giving them the Heimlich maneuver, he also helped someone who was hit by car on Plum Street.

One night, Liby was headed to the gym, when he saw a girl in the fetal position next to car with the door open. He was quick to park his car and go over and help. Liby immediately called 911, and told the girl not to move. Liby then waited for emergency teams to respond.

“I was afraid to move the girl in case of any internal injuries. I told her stay where she was and wait,” Liby said.

On another occasion, Liby was eating dinner at the HutchCC dining hall when Liby’s friend started hitting him and pointed to his neck. Liby realized that his friend was choking on a piece of food. He was the quick one to respond once again. Liby jumped behind his friend and started doing the Heimlich, saving his friend’s life.

“I’m here to become a firefighter, I feel called to help and you just gotta be able to get the job done as fast as you can,” Liby said. “If you don’t react quickly, you lose valuable time.”

Liby is a sophomore at HutchCC but from Abilene. He is in the fire science program, and he has known how to do CPR since his freshman year in high school, but has never had to use CPR before. Liby learned the Heimlich maneuver from boy scouts.

These events definitely seem out of the norm for an everyday college student, but Liby doesn’t feel the need to draw any attention to these events.

“These events could happen to anyone at any time,” he said. “But, I know that these events are definitely not ordinary.”

Olympian, Shawn Johnson, visits Hutch for Dillon Lecture Series

Friday, November 10th, 2017

By Brenna Eller
Opinion Page Editor

From Scooby-Doo shorts and baggy t-shirts to a US leotard, Shawn Johnson East overcame her shyness and bullies at the age of 12 when she was handpicked to go to a 2004 international gymnastics event in Belgium. In 2008, at 16-years old she made her way to the Beijing Olympics. She was an Olympic gold medalist, “Dancing With the Stars” winner, and is now a YouTube sensation.

On Tuesday, Johnson was the speaker at the Dillon Lecture Series located in the Hutchinson Sports Arena.

Johnson has had several accomplishments in her life, the most well-known accomplishment being the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing. She won the silver in the all-around competition and earned a gold medal for the balance beam.

Growing up, Johnson had a fairly normal childhood. She is from Des Moines, Iowa and like many kids, she just wanted to fit in. At the beginning of her speech, Johnson gave examples of bullies and challenges she faced growing up, including – girls not wanting her to join the “cool” group, wearing her favorite Scooby-Doo shorts and T-shirt, and having the first name “Shawn”.

Before her lecture, Johnson was asked about speaking in the Midwest rather than in a big city/state. She said, “I feel so much more relaxed and at home here, I love to speak in the Midwest.”

Another question asked was, “What advice would you like to leave high school and college students today?” She said, “This society makes it hard to have a passion in something without people assuming you will stick with that your whole life.”

She also explained how one might love to play the violin, but that doesn’t mean they have to become a musician.

She was also asked about President Trump, since she was on “Celebrity Apprentice”, her response was, “Aside from the politics, the man and family I met were very nice.”

In her speech, Johnson told about her experience at Beijing when she was representing the United States as the captain of her team for the first time as a 16-year old. She was signed by eight different companies for endorsements. She felt like everyone was expecting her to bring home gold medals. She ended up getting second in the All-Around and first 1st place in beam.

Nastia Liukin, who was also representing the US, and close friend of Shawn’s beat her in the All-Around.
“My heart absolutely shattered,” Johnson said.

She devoted her entire life to this moment and she didn’t get her gold medal. She got silver, and when approached by reporters, she assumed they would give congratulations, but instead was asked, “How does it feel to lose?”

At that point, Johnson had already felt angry so she snapped back with, “I didn’t lose, I won a silver medal for my country.”

When she won the gold for the beam, she thought she didn’t do her best.

“I didn’t deserve it,” she said.

She felt like the all-around was much better because she wanted it more. Her coach agreed with her and said, “Better next time.”

Another accomplishment Johnson is known for is winning the eighth season of “Dancing With the Stars” as a 17-year old in 2009. She shared that she wasn’t comfortable with the outfits at first and dancing with someone she didn’t know. Eventually she overcame her fears and ended up winning the competition.

Recently, Johnson was introduced to charity work. There is an organization called Hope Sports that provides athletes who have retired or quit an opportunity to help the less fortunate. Shawn went with a group of athletes to Tijuana, Mexico. They have built over 4,000 houses for people in need. She found the experience very rewarding and even met her husband through that organization. She also coaches, mentors, and raises money for other charities.

Her speech ended with some advice to high school and college students. She said, “Society puts so much pressure on us anymore.” She led into a rant about how people expect too much of young kids nowadays and how kids should just do what they love and not worry about making a career of it. They can love to draw, but that doesn’t mean they have to become an artist. Johnson also left students with the idea that sharing her life on social media is like “living in a fishbowl.” She also said to be smart on social media, because anyone can see what you post.

Johnson’s latest adventure has been documenting her life on YouTube. Recently she has shared her experience of finding out she was pregnant and her reactions to the doctor breaking the news that she was miscarrying. Although, saddening to Johnson and her husband, she wanted mothers in her position to know she understood and that they aren’t alone.