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The Current

Celebrities touch lives of Nevada County’s teens

Senior River Jarman feels that singer Billie Eilish has impacted her life, which is the reason that she owns and wears several pieces of Billie Eilish merchandise. Photo by Sara Tate

Whether it’s Taylor Swift, Michael Jordan, or Bob Ross, there’s probably some famous personality that has influenced the way you act, the clothes you wear, or your interests. 

Campus Supervisor Ralph Lewis said that he has seen this impact all over the high school.

“Effects are seen from the way [students] dress, act and talk,” he said. “Pop culture is what this campus is made up of. It’s how Bear River students roll.”

Senior Sarah Kennedy also sensed the impact of celebrities on her peers and everyone around her.

“I feel like celebrities are big influencers on everyone,” she said. “I would say celebrities are just very influential to different groups of people. If you like a certain celebrity, you probably have similar interests as them. You’re going to be more interested in what they’re doing.”

Senior River Jarman said that there was someone in particular who touched her.

“Billie Eilish,” she said. “Usually when you’re talking about celebrities you think about how they’re perfect and everything, but she emphasizes how she’s not perfect and how humans aren’t perfect.”

Kennedy said that she enjoys looking to social media influencers for help at times.

“I definitely think that I like to look through social media influencers like YouTubers,” she said. “I like to see different fashion outfits. I definitely think brands—when I see someone wearing a specific brand I might go look through that.”

Though famous folks affect people all over the globe, sometimes the strongest influence in your life is close to home. Mr. Lewis said that his dad was his strongest example.

“Having grown up under the spotlight of sports, celebrities and athletes, I don’t find myself looking at them as role models or me idolizing them.” Lewis said. “I do have mentors, coaching colleagues and people that I respect. The person that has played a big role in my life is my father Bobby Lewis. He was the 1972 Olympic Boxing Head Coach. He trained several world champions and worked with young kids his entire life.”

Retired Shooting Guard and Basketball Icon Kobe Bryant, who recently passed away in a helicopter accident, played, and is playing, a role in millions of lives. His life, death, and incredibly successful career is an example of working hard for what you want, no matter the cost. Motivational Speaker Kevin Bracy, who recently spoke at Bear River, shared what Bryant meant to him personally. 

“Kobe influenced me by his drive and attention to detail in what he loved to, which was playing basketball,” he said. “His drive to be the best. His attention to detail and drive influenced me to pay more attention to the details of what I love to do which is… motivational speaking. To be the best!” 

Bryant’s influence is everywhere, including Bear River. Sophomore Samuel Gouveia explained how Bryant’s basketball life affected him.

“Before I even knew about basketball, it started off with Kobe Bryant,” he said. “That was the only player I knew. Then from there on I started watching him more and then he was kinda like my favorite player for awhile because that’s all I knew about basketball was Kobe. And then I started getting into basketball more, because Kobe inspired me to.”

Though K. Bryant’s death was deeply disheartening, there were eight other people on that helicopter when it went down. Jarman’s heart was with Gianna Bryant and the other young lives lost in the accident.

“Not really Kobe’s [death] but Gigi’s,” she said. “… She’s so young and had her whole life ahead of her. She died in a really tragic way. I also don’t like how it’s only shining on Kobe and Gigi because there were a lot more people in that helicopter.”

Bryant wasn’t perfect, but his work ethic and impact on the sports world is undeniable. Mr. Lewis bestowed his experience with K. Bryant.

“I have been a fan of Kobe since day one,” he said. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with him at his camps in Santa Barbara. I’ve listened to him speak and have sat at the same table talking about today’s playing styles. I will miss him and what he brought to my own life experiences.”

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Celebrities touch lives of Nevada County’s teens