BATH TOWNSHIP — Lillian van Wyngaarden has a passion for hearing others’ stories.
This passion is why van Wyngaarden is the student editor at The Paw Print, Bath High School’s student newspaper, and why she traveled to Japan during the summer. This, combined with her love for writing, is why van Wyngaarden hopes to major in English and journalism in college and someday work for National Geographic.
“Finding the story and talking to the people and seeing the different views, I feel like that all is very alluring to me, I think it’s fun and interesting,” van Wyngaarden said.
Van Wyngaarden spent a week in Japan during the summer as part of the Lima Sister City Association’s trip to Harima-cho, Lima’s sister city. She spent a week staying with a family, learning about Japanese culture. It was a unique experience, van Wyngaarden said.
Learning about other cultures and traveling is very important to van Wyngaarden, especially because her father is from the Netherlands. She found Japan especially interesting because it has a very different culture from the American and European cultures that she has experienced. Van Wyngaarden hopes to study abroad in college as much as she can. She especially would like to study abroad in India.
The two most important things to van Wyngaarden, however, are her relationship with Jesus and playing music, both of which she finds in her role as a worship leader in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Van Wyngaarden is also the treasurer of student council, the secretary in National Honors Society, the president of Chamber Chorale, the second chair trumpet in symphony band, a volunteer with Johnny Appleseed Metropolitation Park District and is a member in Students Against Destructive Decisions, Students Environmental Action Coalition, track and field, YMCA Teen Leaders Club and was a lead in the last musical. She does most of her volunteering through the YMCA, van Wyngaarden said.
“I like knowing that I’m bettering my community by doing these things,” van Wyngaarden said.