Kailey Gielink here to help the world


Kailey Gielink (left) and Praditha Behara (right) hanging up a poster for International Day of the Girl.

Natalia Selvaggio, Contributing Writer

For most students at Solon High School (SHS), keeping up with the high expectations can be a struggle. And being a top rated school can put pressure on the students. However, Kailey Gielink has strived to keep herself going with a passion to help others. Kailey Gielink is a current sophomore at SHS known for her involvement in Marching Band, Mock Trial, Girl Up Club, girls softball and Comets for the Cure Club. But the biggest contributor to who she is today started during her move from Lyndhurst to Solon back when she was in seventh grade at the Solon Middle School.

Her father and SHS teacher Kurt Gielink was concerned for her during the transition, but knew she would be able to handle it.

“I was definitely worried, she was very upset when we were moving,” Kurt Gielink said. “She had a great group of friends, and I hated to take her away from that. It broke my heart to see her so sad, but as soon as we moved, soccer practice for the middle school started up, and she’s got a great personality, easy to talk to, she has confidence and she can make new friends easily.”

After moving to Solon, Kailey Gielink realized the more she involved herself at school, the better she’d acquaint herself with new peers and adjust to a new town. In fact, as the school year started she began to actually enjoy herself and open herself back up to her new life.

“[Lyndhurst] was so small and moving to Solon was the absolute best thing to happen to me,” Kailey Gielink said. “There’s so many more clubs and opportunities, and they take you seriously here.”

Kailey Gielink said she had to learn to prioritize and manage herself even if it meant a few sleepless nights. At the high school, Kailey Gielink finds her passions in the clubs and activities she involves herself in at the school. Always dedicating herself to causes she wants to help or give back to.

“You know, she’s always been very active, but she’s finding a voice for women’s rights and minority rights and really the rights of anybody,” Kurt Gielink said. “You know she’s somebody who cares very deeply for other people.”

Her inherently empathetic personality stands out most to people whenever they talk with her. One of her best friends, sophomore Praditha Behara, believes she’s somebody to trust.

“She’s such a nice person, she’ll talk to people and genuinely cares for people, and if she finds something she’s passionate about she’ll work towards it,”  Behara said. “For example, Mock Trial this year, even though she was a little behind she worked really hard for it.”

During the school year, she struggled to manage her classes’ workload and extracurriculars Kailey Gielink said. Although it is a lot to handle, Kailey Gielink enjoys all SHS has to offer. Marching Band being one of her favorite things, as she continues to put in all her energy and skill into her performance. Behara said her love for the music stands out as her peers believe she should be the new band president.

“There’s nobody else I can think of,” Behara said. “She goes above and beyond. There’s not a single person I can think of who would be as passionate as she is. Basically no competition at this point,”

However, Kailey Gielink is much more humble about the position. She definitely wants the position and would put in her best work toward it, but she believes that it’s still fair game and the election will truly determine who wins.

“A lot of people are thinking I’m gonna do this, and I’m like, ‘But what if I don’t do it and someone is better fit for the job than me?’” Kailey Gielink said. “I don’t want to let them all down.”

Kailey Gielink said she knows that she needs to learn things for herself. She can’t push herself all the time to do everything, and always try to help people if it hurts her. Learning to find a balance between being a caring friend and knowing when she needs to step back and help herself is important.

“She’s always been a supportive friend to me,” Behara said. “I know that I can always go to her and depend on her to be there for me.”

Nonetheless, Kailey Gielink continues to spread love to those that aren’t necessarily around her. This year, Kailey Gielink is the Global Outreach officer for the Girl Up Club and has worked towards multiple charity causes to help people around the world. For example, she helped to organize a vigil for peace this year. Girl Up Club Advisor Kelly Fishman sees Kailey Gielink as an outstanding individual fit for the position.

“Kailey is a team player,” Fishman said. “She works so hard and is completely dedicated to the cause. She is organized, thoughtful and tenacious. She knows what she wants to accomplish and goes for it full force.”

Kailey Gielink is able to express her opinions in an environment as diverse and accepting as SHS. Any room in her schedule is dedicated to helping others and fixing problems that can sometimes be overlooked by society

“There’s just a lot of things that are unfair about this world,” Kailey Gielink said. “And you can either choose to sit back and watch it like, ‘Yeah that’s unfair, that’s how it’s always been,’ or you can at least try to do something about it to make it equal for everybody.”