By: Scarlett Shelley
Riley Baehr wakes up every morning preparing for a creativity-filled day. She takes out her video game controller and gets ready to play, while recording videos for her YouTube channel. Later, Riley opens Google Docs and continues writing her novel. With a goal of writing at least 50,000 words, Riley tries to write everyday. But not only does she game, and write, Riley also is an artist. She enjoys animating on her iPad to keep her creative juices flowing.
Riley Baehr is thirteen years old and lives in Oyster Bay, New York. With about a population of 5,000 people, Oyster Bay is a small town on Long Island. As an eighth grader, Riley is active in the school community; recently, she participated in the 7th and 8th grade play, appeared in the High School play, Pippin, and is an active member of the varsity fencing team. Riley lives a life dedicated to enriching her life by following passions that leave her feeling fulfilled, while simultaneously preparing for a wonderful future. Inspired by her way of living, I spoke to Riley about her life, and her small town.
When people think of small towns, they think of everyone knowing everyone, is it really like that?
No, I don’t think so. I don’t know everyone in the town… I don’t know most people to tell you the truth.
Is there anyone you look up to as your mentor?
This is going to sound so basic and boring, but my mom and dad because they have similar interests to me, but they are more experienced and advanced. But I want to get to their level.
How do your interests and hobbies help you express yourself?
In writing, I am able to express my feelings about certain topics, and in drawing I can express my emotions by drawing certain things.
Why did you start doing all of these creative hobbies?
I started writing and drawing because I like being able to create my own world and imagine an alternate reality. With drawing it’s similar. I am able to draw something that I am just imagining in my head. I first started getting into writing when I was in 5th grade [three years ago] and that's when I first wrote a series of short stories. Ever since then, I have been in love with it.
Do you believe Oyster Bay is for you, or do you want to leave Oyster Bay when you’re older?
Right now, I think that it is good to stay here for me because there are a lot of opportunities here, and many ways I can be successful, but I’m not really sure where I want to go in the future.
What are some words that inspire you and could inspire others?
Do what you think you want to do. Do what you’re passionate about, and it can help you find a possible career path. I hope I can be a writer one day, or that my writing will lead me to that kind of path. There are a lot of things you can do now that will help you in the future.
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