Future faces of the Miss-Lou

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 24, 2008

Astronauts, football stars, rich doctors — all children fantasize about what they’ll be when they grow up.

It’s a natural, healthy part of life. It gives young ones a peg on which to hang their dreams. It gives parents a smile and a sense of hope for their child’s future.

The following pages highlight eight area children with some real dreams for the future. Sure, they’ll change their minds 100 times between now and college graduation. That’s OK. It’s only important that they dream.

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One way or the other, these faces are the future.

Kalethia Gines has a lot of babies

in her life.

Between friends, younger siblings and extended family, the 12-year-old has held her fair share of infants with wobbly heads.

But it’s her own experiences in the doctor’s office that have Gines leaning toward a career as a pediatrician.

“Every time I go to the doctor she makes me feel good,” Gines said.

Gines wants to take that care and pay it forward.

“I just love babies. When they are sick I can make them feel better,” she said.

A sixth-grade student at Morgantown Elementary, Gines has a good jump on medical school. She is an honor roll student who likes science class.

She’s already done her research on what kind of education she’ll need, and she knows how long she’ll be in school.

“Medical school is hard, I know,” she said.

But she’s up to the challenge, she said.

Kalethia is the daughter of Michael and Clemethia Gines.

Taylor Lillie won’t have any bad children in her kindergarten class.

She’ll be a nice enough teacher that no one will be bad, she said. And, well, on the off chance that someone does act up, the principal will deal with that.

“I’ll send them to the office,” 10-year-old Lillie said.

A Vidalia Upper Elementary School fourth-grader now, Lillie knows she’ll have to be good at school herself if she wants to be a teacher later.

Lillie’s own preschool teacher — Shelia Lanius — is the role model here.

“She was nice to us,” Lillie said. “She taught me how to write my name.”

That lesson is likely the most important of all, but Lillie plans to teach other things too.

“I want to teach science,” she said. “I like animals, dogs.”

She’ll learn how to be a teacher in the best way possible too, she said.

“I’m going to watch my teachers.”

Taylor is the daughter of David and Shiela Lillie.

Beau Stahlman knows all about John Cena, Jeff Hardy and the Undertaker.

He knows their moves, their style and their records. And one day, he’s going to be just like them.

Stahlman, an 8-year-old Adams County Christian School student, will need to bulk up a bit to be a professional wrestler.

But he seems like the type who sets his mind to things and follows through.

And he has a plan.

“I’ll have to get a career (as a wrestler), then they’ll give me a locker,” he said. “But I don’t know how to get a table. They put a ladder through a table with fire on it.”

Those are details that can surely be worked out in time. For now, Stahlman will work on getting good grades in second-grade and practicing his moves with his buddies, he said.

His WWE contract will include one condition, though.

“I’m not getting slammed into thumbtacks.”

Beau is the son of Bill and Robin Stahlman.

Brilexus Green knows there are causes out there worth fighting for.

She’s seen them on TV.

Green, 7, has a career in law, she thinks. As a lawyer she’ll be doing research and writing things down, she said.

“I’ll win cases for somebody,” she said. “I saw it on TV.”

To achieve her dream, Green has to do well in her second-grade class at Frazier Primary School for starters, she said.

She has always been an honor roll student, and math is her favorite subject.

She’s ready for the research lawyers must do and likes similar assignments in school.

“I like to get graded on my papers,” she said.

Green looks the part too. She carries herself with just the level of authority needed to earn the respect of a jury and the jealously of the other lawyers.

Brilexus is the daughter of Clarence and Ametia Green.

Anna Rodriguez isn’t fond of spiders. But any other critter is right up her alley.

Rodriguez, 7, likes wolves the best. Siberian Huskies are good too, because they look like wolves, she said.

But as a veterinarian, Rodriguez knows she’ll see all kinds of animals.

“I want to take care of animals,” she said.

A second-grader at Trinity Episcopal Day School now, Rodriguez knows she’s got more school ahead of her in order to learn the proper way to care for animals.

“I’ll have to go to veterinary school,” she said. “I’ll have to practice a lot with animals. I’ll have to learn a lot about animals and what kind of medicines to give them.”

She’s not too worried about the dirty side of the job, or the blood.

“I think I could handle it,” she said.

She’s got two pets and three sisters at home who have readied her for the mess, she said.

Anna is the daughter of Dr. Jack and Linda Rodriguez.

Alex McCready sees himself in the middle of a grassy field with a high pop fly coming his way.

That is, when he’s not standing at the plate prepared to knock one out.

He’ll play for the Braves, he thinks, because that’s the team he sees on TV the most.

McCready, a second-grader at Adams County Christian School, played his first year in Dixie Youth ball last summer. He played first base, but he’s already made up his mind he won’t do that again.

“I like it in the field,” he said. “In the outfield you get to catch the ball a lot.”

School isn’t his thing, 7-year-old McCready said. Neither is homework.

He’ll probably play high school baseball for ACCS as a preparation for the majors, he said.

His role model? Chipper Jones, of course.

Alex is the son of John and Traci McCready.

C.J. Knight wants to hit you. Hard.

He doesn’t want to hurt you, of course, he just wants to keep you — the other team — from making any positive yardage.

Oh, and he plays for the Dallas Cowboys, and no one else. If he can’t play professional football for the Cowboys, well, he’ll quit, he said.

Knight, a 9-year-old fourth-grader at McLaurin Elementary School, knows what he has to do to get to the NFL too.

“I have to go to school, study, read, make good grades and do good in school.”

Knight is big for his age; he knows that. So it makes him a logical linebacker.

His dad is a Cowboys fan, and they watch football on TV together.

“Dad wants me to play,” he said. “I like the Cowboys because they win a lot.”

C.J. is the son of Carl and Kassandra Knight.

Colson Thornton isn’t going to cut you open. He’s just going to make you feel better.

A first-grade student at Vidalia Lower Elementary School, Thornton has his mind made up he’s going to be a doctor.

But he’ll need a lot of nurses and assistants to handle the dirty work.

“I just want to be a doctor,” he said. “But no way will I cut people open. I’ll just give people medicine.”

He doesn’t like the blood either. And when the truth came out about how long medical school is, well, Thornton was just a little surprised.

He’s sticking with the plan though.

“I’ll go to college and get a diploma,” he said. “A job never ends until you die.”

Thornton, 7, wants to help all ages of people, he said, just like his doctor who always helps him, he said.

Colson is the son of Wade and Cindy Thornton.