We explore our talents.

Katiso Tlelima

Katiso Tlelima {actor and student leader}

My role in Damn Yankees was the first time I’ve ever acted. My friend talked me into it. I’m from Lesotho and didn’t even know what the play was about, and it turned out I was auditioning for the main character. It was more challenging—and a lot more fun—than I expected. Before this, I’d only seen myself as a behind-the-scenes guy, and playing the starring role taught me that if I really commit to something I can achieve it.

I’ve been able to try a lot of other new things at Blue Ridge, too. Freshman year, I tried long jumping—which I didn’t know anything about—and learned I liked it. Then I tried the triple jump, and ended up earning a 2nd place medal in the VIC Conference track meet.

Even though I started biking when I was three, I never thought I would actually ride down a 25-foot descent on a mountain trail. Mountain biking has made me feel fearless and not afraid to fail.

Being a proctor last year definitely helped me mature. It was harder than I thought it would be—if anything went wrong I had to take responsibility even if it isn’t my fault. I’m also on the student council and work with the other council members in implementing our ideas. Being away from home has given me the freedom to make my own decisions and discover how much I’m capable of achieving.

Katiso's Team

Juan Mareco

Juan Mareco

{friend}

At the beginning of my sophomore year, I instantly connected with KT. He helped show me the ropes, made sure I knew when assembly and chapel were, and told me what “acceptable dress” meant. As we started helping other sophomores, he taught me how to become more open and make new friends. I became more conscious of my actions, paid more attention to my grades, and now I have a solid work ethic. I don’t wait for the last second any more.

In the beginning of my junior year I was ready to quit Humanities. I didn’t think I could make it, but KT pushed me to complete this challenging class, and now I’m happy I stuck it out because that class was awesome. We helped each other study, and we came up with acronyms to help us understand and remember difficult concepts.

Patrick Curtin

Patrick Curtin

{English teacher}

I’ve known Katiso since my first English class at Blue Ridge. It took him awhile to learn the ropes, but by the end of the year he was one of my biggest success stories. Of all my students, he’s the one of whom I’m most proud.

He has the sunniest disposition on campus and never gets discouraged. At Blue Ridge, he’s really come into his own as a leader, athlete and student. I coached him in indoor soccer, and he was always smiling, running, hustling. When he messed up he’d say “my bad” and move on, and was always the first person to commend another player for a great job.

KT has always had a lot of maturity for a boy his age. He puts in the time to do extra work, hears what you’re telling him, and is always trying to improve himself personally, academically and athletically. A teacher can’t ask for anyone better.

Josh Colon

Josh Colon

{friend}

Although I’ve known Katiso for three years, I got to know him better last year when he was on my hall. As a proctor, I didn’t have a prefect to help me for a few months and Katiso pretty much stepped up to help me and support me. He is always so responsible.

He’s the nicest dude and great to be around when you feel low. No matter what he’s personally going through, he’ll still be smiling and willing to help others. He’s like my brother and we understand each other. 

This year he talked me into trying the triple jump and long jump. He taught me techniques and gave me some tips, and I did pretty well in those events at the track meets this year.

Even though I’ve graduated and Katiso has another year at Blue Ridge, I know we’ll be friends for life.