North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Josce Jelinek, Sophomore

Photo credited to Josce Jelinek

What is your name and grade? Josce Jelinek, sophomore.

Why did you join track? I joined track because I discovered I had a natural talent for running and found genuine enjoyment in it back in middle school.

How do you prepare for a track meet? To ensure I’m in optimal condition, I make sure to have a nutritious meal the day before, pack plenty of snacks and water, and organize all my gear the night before.

What are some goals you have for this season?  This season, I aim to improve my jumping distance and vertical, achieve faster times in the 100m and 200m sprints, and challenge myself by participating in the 400m race.

Outside of running, what are some of your favorite hobbies or activities? Apart from running, I find joy in cooking, watching movies—especially dystopian or crime genres—making mini movies, swimming, and visiting water parks. I’ve been quite active in swimming and even made it to the Varsity team this year.

What subjects or topics are you most interested in studying in school? I’m particularly intrigued by engineering, psychology, and chemistry.

Are there any specific career paths or fields you’re considering exploring in the future? Currently, I’m leaning towards a career in engineering, with a specific interest in chemical engineering.

Do you participate in any clubs, organizations, or community activities outside of track and cross country or outside of school? Outside of track and school, I’m involved in swimming and volunteer at “Save the Children,” where we package food to send to children in need around the world.

How do you balance your extracurricular involvement with your other commitments? I maintain balance by practicing good time management throughout the day, ensuring I allocate time to each commitment effectively.

Who are some role models or inspirational figures in your life, and why do they inspire you? My mom inspires me with her hard work ethic, always pushing me to do my best. Additionally, athletes like Farah inspire me with their determination and hard work, motivating me to go above and beyond even outside of practice sessions.

Follow-up: Have you drawn any lessons or values from these role models that have influenced your own personal growth? Yes, I’ve learned the importance of diligence, perseverance, and dedication from these role models, traits that I strive to embody in my own life.

How do you like to spend your free time outside of school and athletics? I enjoy spending time with friends and family, painting—sometimes even earning money from it—and going on road trips to explore different cities and states.

Are there any specific places or activities you enjoy exploring with friends or family? I like going on road trips to different cities/states.

What goals or aspirations do you have for yourself outside of your athletic pursuits? Outside of athletics, my main goal is to pursue a career in engineering.

Follow-up: How do you plan to work towards achieving these goals in the coming years? I want to gain more experience working and maybe in the future get an internship for the career I’m interested in.

Can you describe a meaningful experience or accomplishment in your life that has shaped who you are today and how did this experience impact your life? Since I was young, I’ve won numerous awards in reading and writing competitions, thanks to my parents’ insistence on reading a lot. Although I didn’t appreciate it at the time, it has greatly benefited me academically and shaped my appreciation for learning.

How do you prioritize self-care and mental well-being in your daily life, especially during busy times like the track season? During busy periods, I make sure to take time for myself on weekends, either by going shopping, enjoying a meal out, or simply relaxing at home and watching something to unwind.

Follow-up: Are there any strategies or practices you find helpful in maintaining a healthy balance between school, sports, and personal life? Find a good sense of time management. You can write down all the things you need to do in order to organize yourself. It helps me see everything I need to do and it makes me less stressed overall.

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About the Contributor
Gabby Mattison
Gabby Mattison, Reporter
Gabby is a senior at Niles North and this is her first year in North Star News. In her free time she likes to learn new things, watching new shows/movies, and spending time with her nephews/nieces.

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