Class of ’21 Senior Spotlight: Corey Mensinger

Name, city of residence: 

Corey Mensinger, Soquel

Grade you started at MMS:

Fourth grade 

What inspires you?

I am inspired by people like Jacksepticeye, Corpse Husband, Valkyrae, and many other YouTubers and Twitch streamers. I’ve started livestreaming on Twitch more often now, and they are my main reason for wanting to try this stuff out. I don’t think I can be as popular and good as they are, but they are the reason why I’ve started doing this for fun.

What is your favorite subject in school, and why?

My favorite subject right now is AP Statistics. The material can be scary at first, but it didn’t take long for me to get a grasp of how to manage my time and get the work done. Dr. Nicole Tervalon is an amazing teacher and I’m so glad I have her again. She really helps to make sure that everyone is learning in a way that works for them, not just for her. She doesn’t give too much work and pushes us to do well, helping us out along the way.

If you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I would end discrimination based on race, gender, sexual preference, place of origin, and many similar things. There is so much hate going on in this world right now, and people are getting mistreated just because they are a darker color than those who mistreat them, or because they are a woman, or they live in another country. I do not think that’s fair in any way, so being able to end all discrimination based on these reasons would be such a nice feeling.

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?

I would go to New Zealand. I have never been before and I’ve heard it’s a wonderful and beautiful place. Also, it seems a lot calmer than the United States and they are more careful with things like COVID-19, which is something I respect.

Name one big challenge in your life right now:

I’m struggling with the pandemic, like we all are. I don’t think I’m struggling with much else, mainly because everything that is a problem right now is because we are in the middle of this crazy pandemic. Just trying to stay safe and positive can be very scary, but I think that we’re approaching the light at the end of the tunnel. We aren’t there yet, but it’s appeared on the horizon.

What is your dream job and why?

I don’t really have a dream job, but there are somethings I am sort of interested in doing. A lot of people have told me I could try to become a teacher or tutor, and that seems like something I can do. I also think that it would be fun to do performance and acting, but that’s such a competitive industry it could be extremely hard to do.

What are your three favorite things? 

My three favorite things are rainbow sherbet, video games and procrastination.

Favorite book:

Right now, my favorite book is The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person. This book was written by Frederick Joseph, and it’s meant to be a way to help white people listen to and understand stories from the black community and how to work to be actively anti-racist. With everything that’s been going on recently, I think this is very important to learn. The stories within it are very moving, helpful and educational. I would recommend this book to anyone.

What do you want to do after high school?

One thing I want to do is become fluent in another language, mainly Spanish. My interest in learning another language began when I was a freshman. I think Spanish is really cool and it could be helpful in the future to know how to speak it. I also, just for fun, want to do more YouTube and Twitch stuff.

Something that you are proud of – and why: 

I’m proud of getting my black belt in Shorinji-Ryu Karate. I’ve been doing karate for going on six years. I’ve spent so much time training at the dojo to keep improving, and it’s been paying off not just in the dojo, but outside too. Plus, having my black belt is a sign that I have made it through the start of what karate is, and now I’m ready to move past the beginning, and into the unknown. 

Something that makes you smile:

Something that sadly hasn’t been happening too much recently but still makes me happy is interaction across the grades at school. Mount Madonna School (MMS) has great ways of connecting younger and older students, and while we haven’t been able to do all that this year, the memories that I do have are really fun and nice to look back on. I think the idea of having the older kids spend time with the elementary school kids helps keep the school community strong. My little buddy for the past couple of years will still wave to me and say hi whenever we do get to see each other. This is something I will miss about this school.

A favorite MMS memory – and why?

I think one of my favorite MMS memories would have to be a massive tie between all the Ramayana! productions I’ve been part of. I haven’t been at the school as long as some of my classmates, but I’ve been here long enough that Ramayana! has become a huge part of my life, and it hurts not being able to do a live stage show again this year. Considering how afraid I was of doing something like the Ramayana! before I came to MMS, the play has changed me a lot. It has boosted my confidence in myself and it made me enjoy stepping into the spotlight and having fun. I really enjoyed doing this play for as many years as I did, and I’m going to miss doing it once I go to college. I’ll still come back to watch it though!

Top three most played songs on your favorite playlist:  

My three most-played songs, in random order, are all covers from the acapella group Pentatonix: “Shallow,” “Hallelujah,” and “Seasons of Love.”

I love Pentatonix’s music because they take these really big and challenging songs and give them their own little twist in addition to singing them acapella. They sound good together and they all bring something to the table that makes their music so beautiful. If you haven’t heard their music before, definitely check them out.

During quarantine what have you done to keep yourself busy, or for fun?

I did start livestreaming on Twitch since I had more time. I am mostly just playing videogames and going to the dojo for classes and to work. We make sure to stay safe and follow COVID protocols, but we still get to hold class, which is really nice.

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Alumna Fiona Burgess (’20) interviewed Corey for this spotlight feature.

Fiona is currently an AmeriCorps service volunteer for the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, working to ensure equitable access to legal services. She is also an undergraduate student studying international relations and political science at Boston University.