By Aja Purvis
He quickly waded his way through the pool of water, his feet moving in unison with the motion of his arms. A bit nervous to be competing in his first relay without much preparation, he wasn’t sure what to expect or if he would even win. He didn’t let that completely discourage him, though. The crowd’s attention shifted between him and his opponent, anticipating who would reach the finish line first. Reaching the finish mark, he pulled himself up out of the water. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the winner.
Sean Collins, 15, of Jackson, Miss., didn’t let that loss discourage him. He was motivated to continue practicing and is improving his skills (as a swimmer) to this day.
Collins was born in Gulfport on Sept. 29, 2000. He has three siblings, two brothers (including his twin brother) and a sister. He is a sophomore at William B. Murrah High School.
As a young boy in Gulfport, “life was easy,” Collins said about growing up on the coast—until Hurricane Katrina struck. “I remember hiding in my closet and then my parents pulling me out hurriedly to get us in the car. We went to our uncle’s and aunt’s house in Mobile, Ala.,” he said.
Later, Collins and his family moved to Jackson, where his parents had once lived during college. He was about 5 years old when Hurricane Katrina struck and has been living in Jackson ever since.
Before he began attending Murrah High School, his friend’s mother had signed him up to try out for Murrah’s swim team without his permission. Even though he never asked for the favor, Collins appreciates her for doing so because he would have never found out how much he likes swimming.
Collins’ swimming continues to get better and is now a hobby. He is even interested in possibly being a professional swimmer one day.
The swimmer likes the thought of being a part of the Youth Media Project because he believes he is “making something to give out to the world.” Collins first heard about YMP the same day that he was brought in to be interviewed for a project that the video and photography groups [LINK to video] were working on.
Because he was going to catch a ride home with his friend, Maggie, who is a member of YMP, he ended up staying the whole day. “I enjoyed it and wanted to be apart of what they were doing,” he said.
Collins enjoys taking pictures and recording videos. He also likes math and science. Because of this, he aspires to have a profession in which he can exercise all the skills that he’s good at in the same job.