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October 28, 2020

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15 minutes with Bel Mancuso, Ada HS senior

She's the April Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative student of the month

Ada High School senior, Bel Mancuso, is the April Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative student of the month. The Icon chatted with her earlier this week. Here’s a portion of that conversation.

What classes are you taking this semester?
This semester I am taking sociology, intro to film, economics, algebra II, astronomy and mobile app design. 

Tell us about some of the activities you participate in at Ada High School.
I was a ‘Dog’s volunteer my junior year. I’m a singer-dancer in Varsity Singers, and a member of the Film Club. This winter I won first place with a self-portrait drawing accepted at the Kewpee Art Show at Art/Space, Lima.

Tell us about some of your activities outside of school.
From 2013-2015 I was part of the 4-H group Liberty Belles and Boys. My first project, Explore the Outdoors, actually went to the Ohio State Fair.

I was on the 2019 Harvest and Herb queen court, which was such an incredible honor. I participated in Our Lady of Lourdes youth group until my sophomore year of high school and now I’m a member of Ada’s First Presbyterian Church. I work at The Food Store in Bluffton.

Have you decided upon your college plans?
I am going to Ohio Northern University as a major in creative writing. 

Have you managed to make an adjustment from taking classes in school to taking them at home?
I was actually homeschooled up until my junior year of high school, so working from home and online is quite easy for me. I have to be honest though, as much as I love being at home, I certainly didn’t miss online schooling. 

Since you aren’t able to be one-on-one with classmates, how do you keep in touch with friends?
I text my friends a lot, I try to call and facetime them as much as possible too so we can catch up and chat. 

Are you working on any art projects at home? Tell me about them.
 One day I got really bored and so I decided to ask my friends what kind of fruit they would be. I then incorporated aspects of that fruit into a small portrait of them. It’s been very popular! It’s also a great way for me to push myself creatively and stay connected with my friends. 

What are the Ada HS students’ creative solution to the possibility that there will not be prom?
I’m not sure what the administration has as a back-up plan to potentially canceling prom. I think a great solution would be to invite this year’s seniors back to Ada’s prom next year. 

Do you have a favorite author?
I went through my Harry Potter phase when I was growing up, J. K. Rowling is by far one of my favorite authors. But recently I’ve been reading a lot more poetry, I really enjoy the work of e. e. cummings and Rupi Kaur. 

How about art – what is your preferred media?
My preferred media is colored pencil. It's a simple media that can create some beautifully realistic pieces. 

With your interest as a writer, what kind of writing would you like to pursue?
My dream is to pursue poetry. It has been such a wonderful coping mechanism for me throughout my teenage years and I would love to be able to publish my work for others to enjoy. I’m also contemplating getting into journalism, I’m passionate about things such as environmental issues and I would love to dig further into these topics and help to educate others. 

Realizing you were homeschooled, what do you remember from first grade?
I remember sitting beside my sister. I remember my mom reading out loud to us, doing math with my dad at the dining room table, going for walks at the Bluffton Nature Preserve, and eventually going outside to play after my sister and I both finished school. 

Are you a buyer or a packer at lunch?
Both my sister and I always pack our lunches. What I do miss is hanging out with my friends during lunch in the art room.