“I love being at this school and I love learning,” Hines said. “All of my teachers have helped me in some way to become a better student. I love the spirit of this school because it really does feel more like a family than most other schools.”
Early risks taken on new subjects and extracurricular activities have brought Hines to a full schedule of classes she enjoys. When she began high school, she strayed from the norm and chose French instead of Spanish for her foreign language, and the decision has opened new doors for the 16 year old.
“At first, knowing that I needed two years of a (foreign) language, I figured I would take French because it seems like everyone is taking Spanish. I have loved it ever since,” she said.
Hines has been raising money since her freshman year to take a trip to France organized by a Sparks High teacher, which she hopes will continue to change her perspective on the language.
Classes aside, Hines is a varsity cheerleader for the Railroaders athletic squads. She said cheerleading became a way to satisfy her inner gymnist when she could no longer afford personal classes. Joining the squad brought Hines a sense of camaraderie that feeds her desire to help others.
“It does take up most of my day after school and after practice, I head home to do homework,” Hines said laughing, alluding to her dull daily routine. “The people on my team, again, feel like a family to me. You don’t get the drama and you don’t get the cliques you might get elsewhere.”
Although Hines finds herself consumed in her foreign languages (she is also enrolled in Spanish), it was her work in US History class that gained her the Student of the Month award in December.
“I was nominated once last year so it was not a new experience, but I was really shocked to be nominated again,” Hines said. “(My teacher) said I am always active in the class and I am continually helping people. I have a few friends in the class who need help sometimes and have trouble staying on track so I try to help lead the way a little.
“I love helping people and teaching in certain things.”
Hines said she would like to continue helping people in the future, but she plans to focus on helping others appease their hunger. Citing her family’s love for cooking, Hines plans to earn her culinary arts degree and become a restaurant owner and chef.
“I have always been around (cooking) and I feel a passion toward it,” she said. “It’s funny though because I like to create but I don’t really like to eat. My team can always count on me to bring cookies or something, but I don’t really make a lot of food for myself.”
The only undetermined factor in her path to culinary school is whether to stay in Nevada or venture to California. Hines said she hopes to move to San Francisco given the city’s culinary background, but should she choose to stay in Nevada, she will enroll at the University of Nevada, Reno and accomplish her business degree before heading to Truckee Meadows Community College for her culinary degree.
The decision to leave, however, may not come easy.
“I have lived in the same house my whole life,” she said, “And I live diagonal from my grandmother, and having all of my family here is a really big thing for me. Also, just being in Nevada, I don’t really imagine myself being anywhere else.”