I met freshman Quinten Powers at the start of my senior year, when we were both put into first hour chorale. It didn’t take long for me to observe how he carried himself with an aura that is not usually seen is someone so young—he reminded me of my favorite quote by Jackie Kennedy:
“He was charismatic, magnetic, electric and everybody knew it.”
As I write this, I am reminded of my own freshman self—I was awkward, moody, and carried an individuality complex. I ached, constantly, to be known for something.
Quinten is exactly who I wanted to be as an underclassmen. Today, in my 4th hour classroom, I asked my peers to describe him in their own words. Immediately, I was met with the titles, “musical genius,” “old soul,” and “Whole Foods Timothée Chalamet.”
I can’t say I disagree.
During the autumn mornings of 2020, it became part of my daily routine to walk into the choir room and be struck by Quinten’s artful playing of Clair de Lune on the piano—it’s his favorite song to perform, and a song that took long for him to master.
He began playing at 8 years old, on a hundred year-old piano that resides in his home. This was done at the urging of his mother, though he quickly became enthralled with the instrument.
Quinten considers music to be his main passion. He believes that music has helped him “learn about others… and it’s helped [him] when [he’s] mad or happy.”
In addition to his enthusiasm for music, Quinten also feels strongly about advocating for mental health. When asked about what he wanted to pursue in his future, he mentioned being a psychiatrist: he wants to assist people in “[getting] the help they need.”
I don’t doubt that Quinten can achieve his dreams. At fourteen years old, he is already the type of person who is called upon in choir to demonstrate his technique for the entire class… a class that consists mostly of those older than him. I often hear my junior and senior peers compliment him behind his back, applauding his style, humor, and wit.
I have a feeling that for the next four years, he will maintain his designation as “The Musician” of Forest Hills Eastern. To all of the underclassmen who wish to embrace their passions, be themselves, and stand out:
I urge you to look to your peer, Quinten Powers.