Allison Schmidt, a 17-year-old junior at Sun Prairie West High School, has been setting her eyes on success this volleyball season. She is currently a middle blocker on the school’s varsity team and a forward on the basketball team. Schmidt loves spending time with her family and friends and is looking forward to all that her second to last year of high school will bring.
What do you think is the biggest challenge our community faces?
I’ve definitely seen a lot more homelessness, especially as you get towards downtown Madison. You just notice it more and more. It’s hard to see. I haven’t seen it as much in the Sun Prairie area, but I definitely see it as I head downtown.
What do you wish people in our community understood better?
There’s a lot of popularity in high school, especially [on] social media. That has a big factor in how people think and their actions. It’s crazy how much social media can affect kids as well as people in the community. Everything just spreads and has a large impact on people and who they are. If I were to take a break from social media or my cell phone for a day, it would be hard. Social media affects the opinions people have and can cause problems sometimes, too. Overall, there are good things about it, but people need to understand that social media isn’t their life. Some people need to learn how to be themselves and not try to make other people like them or try to be like other people just because they see it on social media. I think it’s a basic lesson that lots of people have to learn in high school, and I’m just learning that, too. Everyone goes through it.
What is one change you would make if you could that would make life better for people in
I would say there are some high schoolers who don’t have the opportunities that they might want. Even if they don’t play sports, being able to participate in clubs and extracurricular activities is important. The community is getting better at that. I think that for high schoolers, just expanding the opportunities that they have could make a huge difference.
What in our community gives you hope?
I am hopeful about some of the opportunities they have been starting. [Sun Prairie] just started a boys’ volleyball team. It’s just kind of cool, you know? It’s just a whole different thing for us. A lot of schools in Madison have it, but it’s just a new, interesting thing. We also have an ASL sports team–that’s an adaptive sports league. It’s nice to see some opportunities for other kids!
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.