Capitol Hill for Justin Sia

By Morgan Gstalter

Junior Justin Sia talking with his freshmen mentee Andre Eramia

In a few years, there is a likely chance junior Justin Sia could be sitting in the oval office. He could be on campaign buttons or riding on the back of a convertible in a parade, but one thing is certain: Justin Sia is out to make a difference.  Relaxing with a pair of drumsticks and a bag of Fruit Roll-Ups for sale in the IRC one afternoon, he quickly becomes enthused when talking about the politics here at Niles West.

Justin makes an effort to store a collection of information about Niles West in a hidden pocket in his brain, trying to be in the know about what’s going on and what concerns the students he is trying to help. By being on Junior Cabinet as President, Band Board, Marching Band, the freshmen Mentoring staff, Gospel Choir, Pop and Rock and balancing AP & Honors classes, Justin definitely knows his stuff.

He is a mini-politician in the making. Justin is a member of the Student Leadership Advisory Board, conducted by Senator Kirk. A series of Junior Class Presidents from around the North Shore meet together to discuss leadership  and important items of business within the high school communities, such as a Public Service Announcement they are working on about bullying. Not many high schoolers can say that they work with a politic figure. But Justin is more than the average high school student. He was invited to attend a leadership conference in Washington D.C, for student leaders to discuss national security.

“Washington was incredible,” said Justin over a Skype interview. “It was great to be surrounded by students who not only had a passion for political science and leadership like I do, but also the enviroment of being in Washington had a huge impact on me.”

When he wasn’t busy getting distracted by the Grey’s Anatomy episode running in the background, he told me more about his personal life.  His parents are 100% Filipino and they have been the backbone to his success so far. “They don’t just support me and the things I do, but they also serve as a model for how I want to live my life; a model for the kind of person I want to be”. His parents and older sister has influenced him heavily, particularly with religious beliefs.

“I’d like to think that I am very devoted in my faith,” said Justin, who practices Catholicism. ” I attend services regularly and I teach religious education classes at my church.” Justin was recently accredited with the Award for Prayer and Worship, given to him by the Archdiocese of Chicago, a very honorable award given to about 50 people who has made a difference within their parish community.

Being a leader at Niles West and within his own personal life has been sprouted from many years of dreaming. “When I was younger, I was definitely convinced that I would be the President. But every little kid has that aspiration. I have always dreamed about going into political science, but my ultimate dream is to just make a difference in my community.”

Justin supports the Republican Party and is hoping Ron Paul gets the Presidential Nomination. Being in second semester of his junior year, Justin has begun his college search; Northwestern is at he top of his list. He hopes to find some sort of combination between music and political science as his major.

When he’s not busy planning the Junior/Senior prom, Justin is busying himself within other areas of the school. He had breakfast with the board to discuss new areas of business. Some of the issues concerning Justin’s attention over the course of this school year were collapsing Honors English,  the new cell phone policy,  and the food in the cafeteria.  He is heavily involved in the workings around town and through the halls and does his best to go above and beyond in terms of success for the things he participates in. As junior Colleen Persaud put is, he is “short, sweet and to the point.”