Song of Vicenza teen moves up in national competition
VICENZA, Italy – With the song titled “Strong,” 11th-grader Lauren Parker has moved on to the semi-finalist round for consideration to perform as part of the 2022 Boys and Girls Clubs of America National Conference.

Parker submitted the song in the annual event open to children and youth ages 6-18. She plays violin, guitar, ukulele and piano, and also loves to sing. (Photo Credit: Courtesy)
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VICENZA, Italy – With the song titled “Strong,” a Vicenza High School junior has moved on to the semi-finalist round for consideration to perform as part of the 2022 Boys and Girls Clubs of America National Conference.

Lauren Parker, an 11th-grader, submitted the song in the annual event open to children and youth ages 6-18.

“This song is so close to my heart,” Parker said. “I wrote it for my best friend who has gone through so much. It inspires me to be strong, just like she has shown me through all that she does.”

A song writer for years, Parker plays violin, guitar, ukulele and piano. She also loves to sing.

“It is truly a way to express myself, to help me cope with the struggles of life, and to show others how much they mean to me,” she said.

Parker hopes to release her first album before graduating from high school, and plans to continue to make music and share it with the world.

“I love performing and music is a huge passion of mine. I was excited to hear that I was a semifinalist, because I think that means they liked my song. I hope that the songs I write people find relatable, inspiring, and that they will help people find strength,” she said.

Song of Vicenza teen moves up in national competition
VICENZA, Italy – Lauren Parker, an 11th-grader, poses for a picture. With the song titled “Strong,” Parker has moved on to the semi-finalist round for consideration to perform as part of the 2022 Boys and Girls Clubs of America National Conference. (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL

Davisen Poorcelan, U.S. Army Garrison Italy Child and Youth Services youth program director, said the search was open to all club members, and all types of art forms are welcomed.

“Our top priority is to enable all youth, especially those who need us the most, to realize their full potential within the CYS Youth Program,” he said.

Poorcelan explained that the talent search includes but is not limited to short films, photography, digital music, spoken word, vocal solos and groups, instrumental and dance.

Submitted pieces are scored following criteria; professionalism, skills and confidence in their art form, evidence of having developed the piece themselves and for confidence on stage and making use of the space to help create a spectacle and interest for the audience from start to finish.

Parker’s best friend, Chloe Hansen, 17, thinks she is an inspiration and her song shows it.

“‘Strong’ truly reflects her incredible abilities,” Hansen said, “It demonstrates what Lauren shows me every single day, strength.”

Hansen explained that while struggling with chronic illnesses Parker was really inspiring.

“Lauren stood by my side through thick and thin,” Hansen said. “She plays guitar, loves to dance, and she is an exceptional singer, but above all, she is the sweetest and most amazing person I have ever met.”