Columnist

Dr. Mary Jo Podgurski is the founder and director of the Washington Health System Teen Outreach. She responds to 6–8 questions from young people daily and has written 'Ask Mary Jo' since 2005.

Our Teen Outreach’s 10th annual Washington’s Got Talent finale will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at Canon-McMillan High School. The show is our only fundraiser and is perfect for our mission. More than 200 young people are involved in planning and producing the event, led by our community coordinator, my daughter Amy Podgurski Gough, and our teen SHO (Students Helping Others) committee. Tickets and online voting are available at http://www.washingtonsgottalent.com/.

Traditionally I dedicate the columns prior to the finale to our young finalists. They respond to three questions: 1. Why do you enjoy performing? 2. What does performing in Washington’s Got Talent mean to you, and 3. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? In ABC order, here are responses from the first half of our 22 finalists:

Travis Baker: 1. I enjoy performing because when people look at me, they think I’m just a regular kid but I’m not when I’m behind a drum set. 2. It is a pleasure to be in WGT mostly because Dustyn Shuler was in it last year and it’s nice that one of my friends did it before. I also like it because it supports a nonprofit organization benefiting the community. 3. In a recording studio, going out to gigs, and in college for music.

Alexis Batchelder: 1. I like to make people happy. 2. It is an opportunity to share my gifts with others. 3. In my parents’ basement.

Makenzie Coyle: 1. I enjoy performing because I love spreading my love of dance for my friends and family. I also love putting on a show for the audience. Hearing people’s applause makes me smile. 2. It means representing my family, my school and my performing arts school to the best of my ability. Being a part of community events is important to me. 3. I see myself as a vital part of my father’s business as well as owning a business of my own.

DEPAC

Sydney Abbondanza: 1. I enjoy performing because I enjoy doing things I love with my friends. 2. It means a lot to participate for such a good cause. 3. I see myself graduated from college, and hopefully I’ve obtained a teaching position and the start of a family of my own.

Jenna Eckels: 1. I enjoy performing because you forget everything but your routine and you can just let go and dance. 2. Performing in Washington’s Got Talent is important to me because it is a good opportunity and for a good cause. 3. I see myself with a good job, a decent house with many dogs and a cat named Beans.

Anna Kusturiss: 1. I enjoy performing because it really helps you connect with the people you are dancing with. It also helps you to just let go and feel the music. 2. Performing in WGT means a great deal to me because it is a great opportunity to perform with my friends. 3. I see myself with a good job, nice house, many pets.

Kayde Parker: 1. I like to dance because I’m with my friends. 2. The Talent Show is a great opportunity for me. 3. In 10 years I see myself working or in college for nursing.

Marissa Sprouse: 1. Performing is a fun thing to do with my friends. 2. It means a good opportunity to give back. 3. I see myself with a job in 10 years with a house and a dog.

Mickey Ewing: 1. I enjoy performing because I find it exciting to show off my talent in front of my peers and family. 2. In my eyes, performing in Washington’s Got Talent means a chance for my talent to get some more exposure. 3. In 10 years, I see myself still performing in front of larger audiences.

Olivia Flowers: 1. I enjoy performing because when I perform, I perform with passion and I want to share that passion with everyone. 2. Performing in Washington’s Got Talent means me getting to show my talent locally to all my friends. 3. I see myself in 10 years being a 10th grade English teacher and a part-time dance teacher.

Matthew Liberatore: 1. I enjoy performing because music is a very expressive art and can portray many different emotions. 2. Washington’s Got Talent allows me to showcase the power of music and my passion for it. 3. I see myself completing medical school, living on my own, and continuing to improve my piano skills.

Have a question? Send it to Dr. Mary Jo Podgurski’s email at podmj@healthyteens.com.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.