Teen Spotlights

Teen Spotlight: Jalen McDade

stats: 16, Sophomore at Alabama Christian Academy

notable: Alabama Allstate Chorus Member, Montgomery Zoo “Zooteen” Leader, ACA Concert and Jazz Band First Chair Holder

quotable: “Hard work beats talent. I think that if someone can work hard and play hard, they can easily beat talent that doesn’t work hard.”

his story: Jalen is a member of ACA’s concert band, jazz band, marching band, debate club, cross country team, and more. His musical talent really shines through at ACA— he holds the first chair position in both the concert and jazz bands, leads the trombone and baritone section, and sings with the chorus group. Outside of music, he runs with ACA’s track and cross country teams, swims with the East YMCA Barracudas, and holds a place on the River City Triathlon Team. He shared, “My biggest supporters and the ones who push me the most are my parents, but I really gain inspiration from everyone that I come into contact with. I truly believe that everyone can learn and take away something from everyone they come into contact with.

what’s next: “After school, I would love to go on and pursue forensic pathology. I’ve always found it interesting to be able to learn about a person’s entire life through an autopsy, and I’ve always wanted to do something involving criminal law, so this is a perfect way to combine those two interests.”

PG (parental guidance) rating: “My family is completely transparent about everything. We can all joke and laugh and talk about anything, such as societal issues, life advice, and any question that I may have. This aspect of my family always makes me smile because I understand that not every family has the opportunity to come together and discuss questions and issues occurring in one’s life.”

parents’ perspective: Tonya and Luscious admire Jalen’s “caring and compassion for others, coupled with his personal devotion to be a commendable member of society.”

parent-to-parent: “Listen! Maintain an open line of communication and encourage them to express their feelings.”

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