Elise Dunn is one of the most well-rounded young ladies that's ever been in the Being... column.
And, as much as she's been involved with, one thing is clear:
When she's committed to something, there's no stopping the Youngsville High School senior.
Times Observer photo by Allen Seybert
Youngsville High School senior Elise Dunn
Her personality shines through in whatever she's committed to.
Lady Eagles coach Mark Nyquist said she's improved by leaps and bounds since she started playing for him as a freshman - from junior varsity outfielder to starting first baseman. "She absolutely loves softball," said her mother, Paula.
At about the same time, Dunn got braces on her teeth. From that moment on, she's committed to becoming a dentist.
Her parents have never pushed her too hard.
They didn't have to.
A little "Q&A" with Elise Dunn:
Q: Who are your parents, siblings, any information you think we'd find useful?
A: My loving parents are Paula and Steve Dunn; I also have an older brother Alex and a younger sister Erin.
My mom works at the Youngsville Elementary Middle School as an aid and she also works at Simple Dicks, a local store owed by my grandma.
My dad works at United Refinery and in his spare time he likes to collect and shoot antique guns. My brother is a private in the PA National Guard at the 128th brigade support battalion alpha company in Clearfield for water purification and is now currently going to school at Slippery Rock University majoring in Safety Management. My 11 year old sister is always hanging out with her friends and getting into my belongings, but that's what a little sister does and I'm always here for her.
Q: A little birdie told me you are the kind of girl that likes to go 4-wheelin' and get muddy, but would also stop the 4-wheeler in a second to save a bunny who hurt its paw. What do you make of this statement?
A: I would consider myself more as a Tom Boy, not so much a princess. I like to do various things that many guys like to do, like getting muddy riding 4-wheelers or hiking through the woods.
I'm just caring like a princess is.
Q: I understand you have been involved in the foreign exchange program, housing a foreign exchange student, or more than one. Is this true? What have you taken from the experience?
A: Yes, it's true my family has housed three different foreign exchange students for three separate school years; one from Venezuela and two from Ecuador. Two years ago my family and I traveled to Ecuador to visit our first exchange student we housed. While I was there I got to stand on the Equator, see what a Guinea Pig tastes like (my dad ate the paw for good luck), and zip line through the clouds on the Andes Mountains. I have taken a lot from this experience learning some Spanish words here and there, plus just understanding how their way of life is different from ours here in America.
Q: You have improved so much at softball since you started playing high school ball at Youngsville. How long have you been playing softball, and what do you like so much about it?
A: I cannot even remember when I first started to play softball, it's been so long. I started around fifth grade and am still playing now as a senior. I have improved immensely throughout the years, going from junior varsity outfield to being the starting first baseman for the Youngsville Lady Eagles.
The number one reason why I enjoy playing softball so much is that we practice and play outside around spring time, so it's always sunny. Everyone on our team works together well and it's like we are one big happy family.
Q: How did you become interested in joining the Youngsville Borough School as a junior board member?
A: When I was asked to be a junior member of the Youngsville Borough, I could not turn it down. I will try to attend every meeting and give my opinion as a teenager on what I think would be better for our town.
The council members can get the perspective from the younger generation and try to make everyone from senior citizens to teenagers happy in our small town. Volunteering my time to be in the council will give me a better understanding of what improvements needs to be done to help better our community.
Q: What are a couple of your best sports moments up until now? What are your goals for this season?
A: The best sports moments were mainly of last year's softball season. We had an eight-game winning streak and also made it playoffs. One game I remember, particularly, of last year was against Girard and there was a girl on third base and she was the run to tie the game. The batter hit the ball to Amber Fox on shortstop and she threw the ball in the dirt and I still scooped up the ball and saved the game. Even coach Nyquist said, "that was a heck of a dig!" My main goal for this year's softball season is to hit a home run! I have made it to third base, but never all the way home.
Q: What sports have you played growing up and what is it you like most about sports in general?
A: I might not have been the MVP for any sports I played, but I tried my hardest and was committed to all of them. I played volleyball my freshman year and received an award for the most accurate server on the team. I also played basketball 7th, 8th, and 11th grade, but I grew too busy so I decided not to play this year, and I have played softball every year for eight years.
The thing I love most about sports is that you are with your friends having fun and doing something you enjoy.
Q: What do you want to do with the rest of your life, and why?
A: I would like to go to college and become a dental hygienist and clean teeth for the rest of my life. I work well with other people so I think that would be a great occupation that I could stick with for a long time. Maybe later on in life go back to school and become a dentist making lots of bank.
Q: What is something not many people know about you that you'd be willing to share?
A: One thing that many people do not know about me is that I can probably shoot a bow better than most guys. I used to shoot the 3D interactive screens at Wild Wind Sporters with all my friends. I have a Diamond Bowtech bow that I enjoy shooting, but I have never went hunting before. Maybe this fall I will kill my first deer or turkey and get it mount on my wall.
Q: What are the characteristics of Elise Dunn you are most proud of?
A: I would say that I have many characteristics of friendly, chill, hardworking, dedicated, determined, funny, intelligent, leader, understanding, and attractive.
Q: Who or what is your inspiration from day to day?
A: Every day my mother inspires me and gives me the confidence I need to get through my day. She does a lot for my family and I cannot thank her enough. She is always right there for me no matter what I do, which makes her a great role model that I can look up to. My mom is very hardworking, always occupied with two jobs and still coming home to cook a delicious dinner. I rarely ever tell her how much she does mean to me and I know she will read this, so I love you.
Q: Tell me one question I should have asked but didn't, and then answer it.
A: What are some things I like to do in my spare time?
Once softball season is over I will be working more at my part-time job at Shurfine. I enjoy cashiering and stocking shelves, plus it gives me some extra spending cash.
I also like to hang out with my friends - Danielle, Waylon, Amber, and favorite cousin Katie. My grandma has an in ground pool that I enjoy swimming in with all my friends and it comes in handy on hot relaxing summer days.
My favorite activity I love to do is cruise around town on my yellow moped on warm summer days.