VINCENT – Ava Johnson is a confident and charismatic 15-year-old who will be a sophomore at Warren High School this year.
She is a member of the Warren Warriors swim team, member of the student council, a science olympiad, is a cum laude member of the honor roll, participated in theater her freshman year, participated in several programs including Upward Bound, I Believe , she was in the children’s choir, participated in the Camp Vaudeville program at the Smoot Theater for two years, was a member of a band during her fifth and sixth years, teaches guitar and piano and has just returned from studying abroad in Italy through the CIEE (Council for International Educational Exchange) Global Navigator Program.
“The one I went to Italy was a global discovery, which studies history through the arts”, says Johnson. “So it was really cool that I had the historical part, with the artistic part, with a lot of other things. We did so much in three weeks.
This was a program Johnson sought, applied for acceptance and scholarships, and attended of his own volition.
It was a process that took almost a year to accomplish. Her original goal was to visit Japan after studying Japanese for several years, but travel there was still restricted this summer due to COVID-19.
“For a while everything was closed because of the pandemic. So finally, last summer, I waited so long for this application in Japan to open, and I applied for the scholarship and everything,” says Johnson. “I got a scholarship, but I didn’t go to Japan. But I think it worked out in the end, I really enjoyed Rome.
Johnson was able to visit museums, art galleries, sightsee, take cooking and art classes, visit local bookstores, an amusement park, and visit the towns of Florence and Tivoli where she spent time at the Villa d’Este. .
“Rome is a busy city, so the first week I was a bit overwhelmed by it. All the cars going by and the rustling, and then we went to the city outside of Rome (Tivoli), and it was silent. I didn’t see any cars” says Johnson. “It was so nice to have this break. And the pasta was super good. She was able to see the statue of David in Florence, the fountains of Tivoli, the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican and the Colosseum in Rome. She explained that her guide was a history teacher and pointed out things she wouldn’t normally notice.
“In the Colosseum she pointed out there was this area, and at first glance you’re like, ‘it’s bricks, it’s old bricks’ and then when you paid more attention, the right side looked more dilapidated and the left side looked like newer bricks, and she was talking about how the Colosseum was built over and over again, because sometimes things fell apart and the Romans would rebuild it,” says Johnson.
“It was really cool for her to point it out in real life and say ‘watch out for it’, and it’s everywhere in Rome. Just modern stuff alongside old stuff.
Johnson performed during his time in theater and drama class, and doing sound for the school production of “Joseph and the Incredible Technicolor Dreamcoat” that she would like to pursue a career in film or science.
“I am really interested in cinema” says Johnson. “I love science and research, so I kind of want to get into a career that does a lot of research. And the one I’m thinking of is finding cures for diseases. I’m actually going to attend a job shadowing for that soon.
In his spare time, Johnson enjoys reading, painting, drawing, and really enjoys anime and manga.
“I read a lot of manga and watch anime. I love to read “, says Johnson. “I love looking at the art styles because I do a lot of drawing and painting, and it’s so cool to see, especially manga and anime, I love how it’s animated and drawn differently I think it’s a really cool process. And then with the whole plot of character development. I really like looking at that stuff and being like, ‘Oh, that’s interesting’ and the different tropes.
“I don’t want to make my art a work, I’m happy with this as a canvas, and if anyone wants it, just give me $5.”
Douglass Huxley can be contacted at [email protected]