Junior First Citizen: Nick Suing honored for involvement, leadership

March 2019 Posted in Community

Mount Angel Junior First Citizen Nick Suing. Steve Ritchie

By Steve Ritchie

Oktoberfest is what really opened Nick Suing’s eyes to the value of community service. Helping out year after year at the festival with family and friends gave him a keen insight into volunteering – how combining hard work with fun can be an effective and powerful thing.

“I guess the fun aspect of it makes you want to be involved,” Suing said. “Working in the dough boy booth, cleaning up the streets at 5:30 in the morning, wiping off tables, taking out garbage… just the atmosphere of the town makes you want to be involved. Having fun with your friends and taking care of stuff is the driving factor.”

A senior at John F. Kennedy High School, Suing was selected as the Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce Junior First Citizen for 2018 for his extensive list of community activities, as well as his leadership skills at school.

Suing has been class vice president all four years of high school, and has served as FFA Chapter President for the past two years. He has helped to grow the FFA program, which was formally re-established three years ago, and has benefited from his involvement.

“We’re showing the FFA is not just for future farmers, but it’s an organization where you can learn about so many things like public speaking. There’s just so many avenues you can go.”

In addition to FFA, Suing is also a
part of FBLA, Habitat for Humanity, National Honor Society and HOSA.
He wants to see his peers get involved.

“I really like to encourage people to be involved,” Suing said. “It might be (attending) games, or cheerleading, or FFA. I’m just really positive and encourage people that if they’re not busy they might as well find something to do. Getting involved in clubs or sports and finding your own niche.”

Suing is also an accomplished three-sport athlete. He was captain of the JFK football team, which captured the first state title in that sport in school history last fall.

“After our first two losses in league to Sheridan and Santiam, each game and each practice after that we just built upon what we could improve, finishing out plays and finishing out quarters, finishing out a complete game and working hard. I definitely enjoyed the ride through the playoffs. I feel like after each win we grew as a team together.”

Suing had numerous offers from local colleges and recently committed to Oregon State. He is looking forward to competing for playing time next year with the Beavers. 

Suing was also captain of the Kennedy boys basketball team that brought home a fourth-place trophy from the state tournament. As a junior he turned out for track and field for the first time, and qualified in the shot put for the state meet, where he placed seventh after improving more than eight feet in the event during the season.

Suing loves the small town feel of Mount Angel, and says he will likely gravitate to small town life after college.

“It’s cool to see the community come together and work together,” he said. “You see the benefits of community service through different events like Oktoberfest – how the town comes together. It’s definitely taught me how important (community service) is. No matter what size of community you’re in, it’s effective if you are involved in the community.”

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