GLADSTONE, Ore. (KPTV) - Grace Christiansen is a kid on the go in Gladstone. The senior captain for the Gladiators cheer squad is also involved with National Honor Society, Key Club, and was crowned homecoming queen in her charming little town.
“I love that I got to grow up here because the community is so tight knit and it’s really fun to be able to walk around our entire town in two hours and be like, oh I know who lives there, oh, that’s so and so’s car,” she said.
Friday Night Lights are a gas but it's cheer competition that really fuels Grace and the Glads. Named to the All-State team a weekend ago when Gladstone won the 4-A stunt title, the Gladiators are out for a three-peat at the OSAA meet in February.
“We’re dedicated and when we win, it definitely boosts my school spirit a lot because I can walk into a building a be like, wow, I cheer here! That’s cool,” Christiansen said.
After a year away from practicing in a gym during COVID, Captain Christiansen is always ready to offer a shoulder and lend an ear.
“It’s about holding your team accountable and making sure they feel cared about and supported and making sure everyone shows up to practice and they feel the same energy I do, like, if I want to be at practice, I want to make sure that everyone else wants to be at practice too and if they don’t then I want to help them get to a point where they want to be here,” she said.
Helping others is what Grace wants to do for a career, taking a flyer on becoming a midwife.
“I attended a birth when I was 12, one of my close family friends went into labor and was like, hey, Grace, do you want to be here? Yes, I do! Very much! I don’t know why I want to be here, but I really do and that sort of sparked something in me that I didn’t really realize it would. It’s something I enjoy learning about, like genuinely enjoy learning about,” Christiansen said.