Taylor Volesky is a dual senior at Prairie High School and Iowa BIG. She looks forward to studying Pharmacy and Business at Drake University next year. Taylor is involved in Executive Board Student Council, Business Professionals of America, Key Club, and National Honor Society at Prairie. She is also actively involved in the music department, serving as a Field Commander for the Prairie “Hawks” Marching Band, and as the Student Manager for the Prairie Premiere Show Choir Competition. This past summer Taylor went to Peru and lived with a host family. She also worked on rebuild houses in Pittsburgh as a mission trip through her church.
Lou Dennis Ice Rink
I am a first year student at Iowa BIG, and so far it has been the best decision that I have made for my senior year. In high school, students fall into the routine of going to school, completing the homework that they have to for class, and showing up for class again. Growing up I liked school, and did well. However, as I got older I started losing the excitement to go to school everyday. When I first heard about Iowa BIG I was hesitant. I had heard great things through my friend Kinzie Farmer, but I have always been one that groaned to myself whenever a teacher said group work.
This year I am a part of three different teams, with different advisors, in an atmosphere that is very new to me. I am also getting the chance to collaborate with new people from surrounding school districts. One of the projects that I am currently working on is trying to reopen the Lou Dennis Ice Rink, previously located in Ellis Park. My team and I have divided up into two separate groups, Team City and Team Ice. Team City is the part of the project that I am actively involved in. We are researching similar cities to Cedar Rapids, what they offer for outdoor winter activities, as well as how this would impact our city with cost and community involvement. We are also looking into what we need to do when we present our proposal to the city. Team Ice is investigating the ice rink’s history up to this point, and making contacts with people who knew about Lou Dennis, and learning about the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. In the long run we have to figure out weather patterns, measure the ice, record data this winter for our case, and the science behind ice making the ice rink work.
I have learned through this experience that the Creative Corridor isn’t actually as big as it seems. Once you have created a network with the mentors in the area, the people you are trying to connect with seem to magically appear. Through networking if you know the right people, they in turn know the people that you are trying to contact for help; it is just a matter of establishing those connections. All the adults that I have had the pleasure of working with thus far have been so willing and helpful. The freedom that BIG provides has taught me how to properly manage the free time that I am given in order to be successful. I am excited to see the end result of the projects I have been working on.