Though it is slightly more complicated than that, she can usually be found working at a local pet food store, scaling rocks at RockSport Reno or curled up with her drawing pad and her headphones in.
The 15-year-old Reed High sophomore said rock climbing began as an activity to take the place of cross country when the season ended. Now she is a member of Reed Rocks, a small club for rock climbers, which gets her plenty of time at RockSport.
“There are really only two members of the club right now, but I have been doing it since last year and I love doing it,” she said. “It is a fun sport. There are not many people who can do it because of fear of heights and things like that, but it’s really fun.”
McCubbins has been experimenting with more challenging forms of rock climbing, including climbing without a harness and belaying herself as she climbs. She said as she becomes older she will take her skills outdoors for new challenges.
“Rock climbing is something I would like to be able to do for the rest of my life,” she said.
Academically, McCubbins maintains a full Honors schedule that she hopes will set her up for a career in a unique medical field. As a freshman, McCubbins was president of the H.O.P.E. Academy at Reed, which prepares students to enter the medical field, where she took advantage of hands-on activities at the University of Nevada, Reno.
“We were able to take a field trip up to the university where we took a tour of the new medical school. They showed us some of the high-tech dolls they use to practice, the cadaver lab and showed us how to use stethoscopes,” she said. “I wanted to be an ER nurse for a while since my dad was on the (Washoe County Sheriff’s) Hasty Team, so I always thought that was pretty cool. But, I am also super involved in art so I was hoping to combine the two and do medical drawings. There is a pretty big field in that.”
McCubbins said she has been drawing for several years now and much of her artwork is displayed around the high school. She said her mother’s art has always been an influence and, combined with her love of music, keeps her constantly drawing or painting.
“My mom is a glass artist and she is always going to do shows and it has always been an influence for me,” she said. “Also, listening to music kind of makes me want to draw. I listen to a lot of older stuff like The Beatles and Bruce Springsteen. I think (art) is something that differs me from somebody else, and I think it is kind of my ticket to a better life and a better future.”
McCubbins, who was born and raised in Sparks, said she is excited to explore the world once she finishes with high school. Though she said an education at UNR is on the table, there is an art institute in San Francisco that is calling her name and she will be applying for a summer program this year to get a feel for the school.
No matter where she ends up for college, McCubbins said she wants her career to be meant for more than just herself. She said helping others, volunteering and doing community service is something she wants her future based on.
“I feel like I want my life to mean something to somebody else. I want my life to be for greater purpose. I want to do what I enjoy but have it benefit somebody else,” she said. “Anytime you help someone or see something that changes somebody else’s life, you kind of feel like there is a reason for you to be here and be doing what you’re here doing.”