Sunday, November 19, 2017 Elyria 30°


15 Minutes: Meet DARE grad and winning essayist Jillian Grzywna


Jillian Grzywna

Age: 11, fifth-grader at Columbia Middle School

Pursuit: Essayist

You won a DARE essay contest. What did you say?

Drinking can mask effects of an aneurism in some people because they can have blackouts and other brain trouble. Then the doctors might have trouble finding out what is really wrong with the patient. Heavy smoking and drinking can lead to cancers that happen when people aren’t that old and some kids might not be able to make memories with their grandparents who would not be that old, but they die early.

What else did you learn in the DARE program?

I learned about peer pressure and personal pressure and how hard it is and getting out of a tough situation. I would walk away and if they followed me I would still say no and still walk away.

Name some drugs.

Tobacco in cigarettes, pipes and cigars, alcohol, marijuana.

What are your best subjects in school?

Math and I’m not a big fan of science, but I got excited about it in the DARE program.

What do you like to do for fun?

I like to ride my dirt bike.

Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?

I want to work in an aquarium, and I won a year pass for my family to the Cleveland Aquarium.

Who’s in your family?

My mom and dad, Debi and Stan, and my brothers Gregory, 12 and Jeffrey, 9.

Chronicle photographer Chuck Humel shines the spotlight on the people of Lorain County each week. Know someone worthy of 15 Minutes? E-mail

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