Teri Vance: Following up on successful Carson City area graduates

For the first time in what seems like my entire life, I didn’t write about a single graduation this year. While I can’t say I missed it (imagine listening to “Pomp and Circumstance” for nearly two weeks straight for nearly 15 years), it did make me a little reflective.

The one thing I do enjoy about graduation ceremonies is the universal hopefulness. Parents, teachers, administrators, students — everyone is unified in this idea the future is bright and the graduates are poised for success.

But it always makes me wonder where these students actually end up. Does the everyday monotony of life take its toll, dimming that glow of hope? Or do they charge forward, overcoming the obstacles, fighting to keep the fire burning?

So I was happy to get a few updates this week on some graduates from Carson City schools.

Faithann Hodorowicz graduated from Carson High School in 2014, after being diagnosed in 2009 with a form of cancer known as Primitive neuroectodermal tumor.

In an effort to help find a cure, she’s joining a national campaign this weekend to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a foundation who raises money for pediatric cancer research.

She will be operating her lemonade stand in front of her home, 2800 Mountain St., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. today and Sunday.

If you can’t make it to the stand, you can donate $10 by texting LEMONADE, along with event ID number E1140051, to 85944.

For more information, go to alexslemonade.org.

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I did a story in 2011 on Kelly Brandon, who graduated from Silver State High School at 15 years old as class president and valedictorian.

At 19, she graduated with honors from the University of Oregon with dual majors in philosophy and political science. Her next step is law school at the University of Richmond.

“Kelly was accepted to all six law schools she applied to and received four free rides, one 75 percent and one 60 percent,” her mom said. “She has accepted a free ride at the University of Richmond.”

• • • •

Karen Chandler, a drama teacher at Carson High School for more than two decades, will be joining her two daughters, both Carson High School graduates, at the 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival this month.

Bryna Chandler, who now lives in Cleveland, entered two of her original plays in the festival, an annual, open-access, community event celebrating freedom of expression and collaboration.

Bryna will be traveling from Ohio with her cast and crew of “4D6 Life,” a play about fantasy role playing gamers, to join her sister, Michon Chandler, who will be playing the female lead in the second entered piece, “Kink.”

“Kink,” which approaches themes of misconceptions and generalizations based on appearances through a chance encounter between neighbors trapped in an elevator, premiered at the Bruka Theatre in Reno.

Michon has frequently appeared in local productions and has directed for the Brewery Arts Center and Proscenium Players.

Bryna Chandler also started the nonprofit organization, Creative Dream Collaboration (CDC) Dramatics, in the hopes of helping other artists follow their dreams and to encourage participation at International Fringe Festivals.

These two plays can benefit from the community’s support through sponsorship, donation or even purchasing a ticket to be donated to a student or starving artist attending the festival.

For more Information about CDC Dramatics and how to become a supporter, go to www.cdcdramatics.org.


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