BV’s James holds strong values
Story and photo by
Playing soccer since the third grade, it was not until she was a senior that Alicia James had her first injury four or five games into her final 13-game season.
Yet the Buckeye Valley senior found the experience as a second year captain provided her with a different insight from being a leader on the field to being a leader on the sidelines. And, she said, it allowed her to get to know those on the sideline more.
Alicia, still recovering from surgery, is hoping to get the brace off before the holiday break. The ligament had disintegrated so the surgeon pulled a hamstring through and created a new one.
But she was happy that before the surgery, she was able to play one final game with the brace.
“I’ve played since third grade. It’s the only sport I ever played,” she said, adding, “I love it.”
With a senior year that began rather rough, she said she feels good now. One major decision has already been made; she has been accepted and has decided to attend Cedarville University. Alicia wanted to go to a Christian college foremost. Where they share the same beliefs and values. The professors (at Cedarville) are “really Christ centered.”
She will focus her studies on middle school education with a minor in Bible to fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher. She prefers to teach the middle school age level to be able to address more in-depth concepts.
“I want to make an impact on kids’ lives,” Alicia said. She has wanted to teach ever since first grade when her teacher that year made an impression on her.
She admits another plus for Cedarville is that it is close to home.
“I’m really close with my family, so I really want to come back,” she said, noting the three week vacation of the past summer, when her family bonded. “It was neat seeing all the creations, and you just know there is a God.”
But before that she would like to do mission work. With her knowledge of Spanish, she knows there are locations either in South America or the Caribbean where she could go.
“I’ve always wanted to, but never had the opportunity,” she said of participating in mission work.
For now though Alicia is busy as senior class vice president as well as with her work in the National Honor Society, student council, Teen Institute and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes — all activities that she has been involved throughout high school.
Social studies teacher Doug Joseph knows Alicia through NHS and as her teacher in the history class taught in conjunction with Kenyon College.
“Alicia has developed a strong sense of values, including the importance of an education. She is extremely hard-working and very conscientious and responsible,” Joseph said.
“Alicia is one of those students who you just know will thrive in a college situation, taking on the challenges placed in front of her and most likely challenging those around her. She is an excellent choice for Teen of the Week.”
Gery Kovatch had Alicia in pre-calculus last year and this year for honors physics. The teacher said he cannot wait to see how her future unfolds.
“Alicia is a diligent student and leader who is always actively engaged in whatever we’re doing in class. In honors physics, where students tackle a significant number of college-level problems, Alicia has become quite an adept problem solver,” he said.
Kovatch went on to say that “Alicia is actively involved outside the classroom as well. Out of all of her many accomplishments, I would say the one that stands out for me is when she organized and ran a ‘Kick for the Cure’ event. As an active member of her church and as the senior leader of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Alicia is a strong young woman of faith.”
Alicia said the “Kick for the Cure” event was begun last year after her mother battled breast cancer. The money raised from the event goes to help pay expenses for someone in the community who also has breast cancer.
Alicia said that with recent information on cancer, she has learned she has a 50 percent of contracting it herself. Both she and her brother will be tested in the near future to see if they carry a specific gene linked to the disease.
The cancer fundraiser is just one area where Alicia volunteers. She also has helped with the holiday clearinghouse for PIN the last four years, helps and teaches in the preschool at her church, volunteers at the CORE Center in Delaware and at the east food pantry in Ashley. Other volunteer projects have been through 4-H and the Teen Institute.
In addition, she has worked at a local grocer for the past two years and has just begun tutoring students at the middle school. Alicia has also been a member of 4-H for the past eight years, showing hogs mostly, but also doing projects in creative arts and clothing.
She was in honor guard last year and has received numerous awards including being an OHSAA leadership representative her junior year and receiving a sportsmanship award in 10th grade. She was also MVP her junior year in soccer, scholar athlete each year and received the principal’s leadership award this year.
“It’s hard to leave,” she said of her time at Buckeye Valley. “I’m enjoying the time we have and hope to stay close as we go our separate ways.”
She said someday she may even teach at Buckeye Valley.
She tells others to “enjoy the years. They go by very fast. I was told that as a freshman, but I did not believe it.” Instead of stressing out over school work, she advises others to slow down and take a breather.
“Don’t worry about tomorrow, just enjoy today,” she said.
Alicia is the daughter of DeeDee and Mark James of Radnor.