Patch Whiz Kid of the Week: Michael Furnstahl
Activities: BLHS Cross Country, BLHS Basketball, BLHS Track, BLHS Chamber Choir, Drama/Musicals, Momentum, Auburn Dance Academy, Silver Spurs
Explain the last three activities?
- Momentum is a positive school assembly program. We are a group of kids who tell our personal stories about living with a disability of some sort. I had to learn to deal with growing up with a cleft lip. With Momentum, we talk to other kids about learning not to judge others and how to treat others the way we want to be treated. We have done this at Mt. Baker Middle School, Rainier Middle School, Cascade Middle School (all in Auburn School District) and Fife High School.
- With Auburn Dance Academy, I am part of the Extreme Dance Team, a Hip Hop competitive dance team. There are auditions to get in. We have multiple competitions each year and one national competition. The last two years, we competed in Las Vegas. This year our national competition will be in Disneyland. I am really excited about that.
- The Silver Spurs is our family’s musical group. We perform at our yearly A Victorian Country Christmas 5-day event, held at the Puyallup Fair Grounds. My parents, three sisters and I sing and dance along with six other dancers taken from area dance groups. We perform multiple times daily for the entire 5-day show.
With all that you do (I know only some of the things are listed above), what do you feel is your key to awesomeness? I feel like I am successful, because I never settle for anything. I always try to go the extra mile to get to my next goal. Instead of being content where I am at, I push ahead to get to that prize at the end. For example, finding a new friend, putting in extra effort on a project at school, working hard to show my parents I am truly working to represent them in a positive way.
To what do you owe this strong drive to succeed? I started at the bottom, so I was able to look at the bigger picture instead of the here and now. I had to work really hard at this to overcome my cleft lip. When I look at where I am now, I know that I have earned it, with no handouts. I have had to work hard for what I have. I had surgery at three months and again at 12 years old to repair my lip. I still have a little scaring and extra air that comes out of my nose when I talk or sing. This is why my doctor told me I would never be able to sing or talk right. The fact that I can sing at all broke every barrier that was set for me.
With all of these accomplishments, of what are you most proud? I am most proud of the fact that I can be friends with everybody. I don't stick to just one group. I like to talk to everybody. I am most proud of that.