This week’s Life in the Spotlight is a talented senior in high school dedicating her time and talents to the Valparaiso community. Mia Baker has dedicated hours of her time to participating in fundraisers and projects with the intent to provide for the community through art. She also actively participates in her church and through the National Honor Society at her high school. A lively, vibrant young woman with a passion for helping others, Mia is a bright star in the Valparaiso community.
Mia has donated artwork to the Indiana Courthouse Art Project, a project dedicated to collecting artwork depicting the historic courthouse buildings in all ninety-two Indiana counties. Her artwork displays the courthouse as it stood in its original form, before the fire.
“I probably spent over 60 hours working on this piece, from building the frame for the canvas, to the finishing touches,” Mia says about her work.
Mia’s art teacher, Mr. Banas recommended Mia for the project, and she is grateful to have been able to contribute.
“It has been so rewarding having the opportunity to represent Porter County in a small way in this statewide project,” she says.
While the time management wasn’t always the easiest to maintain, Mia delivered a beautifully detailed and accurate representation of the courthouse to the Indiana Bar Association.
“Being a senior in high school, I have a lot of responsibilities; keeping my grades up while preparing for college and focusing on applying for scholarships to fund my education. With all that said it was a challenge to make time to put 100% into the project. This process taught me a lot about my own limits, time management, and what I can do if I set my mind to it,” Mia says about the experience.
In addition to this donation, Mia has also made donations to the community through her art in other ways.
“I have done art projects in the community in the past such as a show at Uptown Cafe, where the money I made was donated to Kids Alive international. I was also a volunteer for the Chalk the Walk fundraiser. I also had a piece featured in the Indiana University Northwestern High School Biennial and I was a mentor in the drawing buddies program last year,” Mia states.
Mia also does volunteer work through Calvary Church as well as through the National Honor Society at her school.
As far as the Valparaiso community as a whole, Mia has nothing but love and praise.
“I love the actual community that we have in Valparaiso. There are so many things to get involved in here. We have a beautiful town with amazing people who give back,” she explains. “I am proud to live in Valparaiso.”
A proud contributor to this community, Mia says she gets her inspiration from her gratitude and understanding of how privileged she is to live in this free country. Her parents inspire her as well, and the unconditional love she receives from God drives her to do her best every day.
Mia says she owes her success to her parents, elders, and mentors.
“I would not be a motivated student if it weren't for my parents’ gracious guidance and their expectations of me. I also owe it to my teachers over the years that have inspired my love and curiosity for knowledge and creativity. The wisdom from my grandparents and mentors helps to keep me well-rounded and focused.”
This summer Mia plans to participate in a bicycle tour of Minnesota called Spoke Folk. In July, she heads to Guatemala on a missions trip with Calvary Church through Kids Alive International. In the fall, she will attend Ball State University to pursue a degree in architecture with a Spanish minor.
Most importantly, though, Mia says, “My overall goal is to invest in the people around me and remember that I am loved by an amazing God, and to return that love to others around me.”