Anya Edelman doesn’t want to be a princess. She wants to be more.
One of the first things that strikes you about Anya is her confidence and sense of self. Both qualities came in handy as the only girl on her t-ball team growing up. Years later, Anya relied on those same attributes when she decided to take up fencing as one of only two girls on a 26-person team. The risk paid off as Anya finished in the top tier of her latest competition, just a few months after learning the sport.
Another thing instantly visible in Anya is her determination and perseverance. Although faced with learning difficulties, she embraces the challenges and continually improves herself. To Anya, giving up is not an option.
In her free time, Anya likes to cook, redecorate rooms, attend summer camp, help others and be artistic.
We had a chance to ask Anya a few questions. Something tells us this amazing girl is just getting started!
“Find your inner sparkle and share it with the world. Don’t be afraid to shine.” – Anya Edelman
Q & A
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up and why?
A: I’d like to be many things such as a child life specialist (to help children who suffer serious illnesses deal with their treatments), an artist (because there is no right or wrong in art) or an interior designer (I love doing room makeovers!). I’d also love to own a restaurant or a bakery someday.
Q: What do people say when you tell them that?
A: Good for you! Go for it and chase your dreams.
Q: Do people ever call you “princess” and, if so, how does that make you feel?
A: Sometimes. I don’t like being called “princess’ because it makes me feel like I have to be beautiful on the outside.
Q: What does it mean to you to be a princess?
A: If I can redefine the word “princess”, it would mean a strong, fierce, confident girl who is beautiful in her heart – on the inside. A princess would care more about others than herself, someone who is selfless and sees what is needed in the world, not just what she herself needs.
Q: How did you become interested in fencing?
A: My gym teacher, Mr. Brown, has been fencing for many years. He got me interested and taught me how to fence after school with some of my school mates. It lets me get my frustrations out of my system without hurting somebody else. I feel like I can do anything I put my mind to when I am fencing. Now, I’m on my school fencing team, and I love it.
Q: Do your family and friends support you?
A: Totally. There aren’t many girls who fence at my school. Only two out of 26 fencing team members are girls. But, my close friends think it’s pretty cool that I’m fencing. I’m used to trying sports that are usually boy sports. When I was five, I was the only girl on my t-ball baseball team.
Q: Did you ever think you’d be called an “amazing girl” for choosing to do this?
A: Never. I just like being myself and having the chance to do what makes me happy. Like Beyonce says: “Girls can rule the world!”
Q: What three words would you like people to use to describe you?
A: Fierce. Compassionate. Old soul.
Q: What do you want people to know about you outside of your fencing accomplishments?
A: Things in life don’t come easy to me. I have lots of learning differences and challenges, making it really hard to learn new things, but I don’t give up. I work HARD. I succeed. And, I don’t take things for granted.
Q: What motivates you?
A: Happiness. Feeling proud of myself. Giving it my all.
Q: If you could have ice cream with one person, whom would it be?
A: A boy? That would be Matty B (the rapper/singer). A girl? Definitely Audrey Hepburn. I love her quotes, especially this one: “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m Possible’.”
Q: What advice would you give to a girl who wants to be just like you?
A: God created each one of us to be different and unique. We all sparkle in special ways. Find your inner sparkle and share it with the world. Don’t be afraid to shine.
Bonus Question: What question would you ask the next Amazing Girl we interview?
A: How old are you? What’s your favorite color and why?
- Her favorite apps are Pinterest and YouTube.
- This summer, Anya is most looking forward to going to Birch Trail Camp for a month in Wisconsin, where it is cooler than being in Texas.
- Her favorite song is “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten (for motivation).
She also likes anything by Adele because – well, it’s Adele!
And, Pit Bull – anything to get her dancing!.
- Anya’s favorite sports team is the Houston Texans. #99 JJ Watt is fierce!
- Her favorite subject in school is reading. She loves learning about other people, especially reading biographies about strong, passionate women.