Mace Provost a budding expert on the art of giving

Mace Provost's adventurous nature is matched only by his generosity. The 14-year-old eighth-grader attends St. Mary's School in Medford and believes strongly in serving his community and those in need.

In March, Provost will go to Washington, D.C., to participate in the People to People Leadership Forum, which is designed to hone leadership skills and offer students a chance to study U.S. history and government in our nation's capital.

Provost, who will be traveling alone, says he is very excited about his trip. His parents, Greg and Deborah Provost, said they had planned on going with Mace, but respect his desire to participate in the forum independently.

"We are proud of Mace and his independent, adventurous spirit," his mother said. "It takes courage and confidence to travel to new places alone. However, Mace always enjoys the challenges that come with new experiences. He also tends to succeed at them."

Provost took some time to talk with the Daily Tidings about the leadership forum and a life already dedicated to service.

DT: How long have you lived in Ashland?

MP: I have lived in Ashland for 14 years. I was born at Ashland Community Hospital and am a sixth-generation Ashland resident.

DT: What are your favorite subjects in school?

MP: I enjoy art and science. I like these subjects because of the hands-on approach to learning.

DT: Do you have a teacher who particularly inspires you?

MP: To choose just one teacher wouldn't be fair. Most of my teachers have been an inspiration and encouraged me to do more than what I thought I could do.

DT: Talk about the People to People Leadership Forum.

MP: People to People Leadership forum is a program founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It was founded in 1956. The six-day forum will help me further develop my leadership skills while exploring all aspects of U.S. heritage and its history and political system. Being selected to attend the forum in Washington, D.C., is an awesome opportunity. I will be the only student from Oregon, in my group, attending the forum in March 2009. During this time I will be meeting with other students from across the United States, Canada and South Africa. I am looking forward to visiting our nation's Capitol, Supreme Court, Library of Congress and other sites on the Hill.

DT: What do you like to do outside of school?

MP: Throughout the year, I like to ride my quad and motorcycle on the dunes by North Bend. In the winter, I snow ski. Last winter, I participated in Mt. Ashland Racing Association. My favorite winter sport is snowmobiling with my dad and friends. My summers are filled with water sports such as tubing, boating and water skiing at Lake of the Woods.

DT: Do you have trouble balancing school and outside interests?

MP: No.

DT: What do you want to do after you graduate high school?

MP: When I graduate from high school I want to go to college. As an eighth-grader, I am thinking about a career in medicine.

DT: Talk about something you have done that makes you proud.

MP: I have always been active in fund raising for schools and our community. When attending Bellview, I was the top salesman for our cookie dough fund-raiser two years in a row. At St. Mary's, there is a huge effort toward community outreach. For example, this past week we had a drive for The Dunn House. I brought in over 300 toothbrushes, 100 travel size toothpastes and 200 packages of floss, just by asking local dentists to contribute. Everyone I asked graciously donated. Since the beginning of the school year I have also asked for and received donations for Coats for Kids, Toys for Tots, Shriner's Hospital and Access Food. It is rewarding to give to others, especially when so many people are involved. Our community is filled with opportunities to give. Just like it is filled with opportunities to receive. Many people have donated money toward my trip to Washington, D.C. I continue to learn I will never be able to give more than I have received. However, it sure is fun to try.

DT: Talk about something that is especially challenging in your life.

MP: Everyday, I am faced with the challenge of doing well in school. It takes time and effort to excel at St. Mary's.

DT: Tell us about someone in your family who makes you proud.

MP: My parents make me proud, because they support me in everything I try to do or accomplish. My grandparents are also extremely supportive of my hopes and dreams.

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