Student Spotlight: The Life and Times of JJ Pratt
By Matthew Smith - Eagle staff writer
If you are a student at Franklin County High School, you very likely know the name JJ Pratt, whether it be from the theatre program, the Morning Show, or having him in one of your classes.
Many students see the world in a monochromatic light, but Pratt sees things complete. He sees hope for a new future in the world.
Something that FCHS students may not know about JJ is that he is the president of the school's very own Asian Culture Club
“It's not a very well-known club. We meet after school on Tuesdays. [We] cook [Asian foods] at it every other week. I also do some educational stuff about Asian countries and culture.
Unlike the Asian Culture Club, Pratt's most recognizable hobby is likely his role in the theatre program. Pratt states that his true love of performing is what got him into theatre, especially music. “I think [music] just speaks to me like a lot of people will kind of look back and say that something speaks to them”
Pratt has won awards for his acting during the 2022-2023 Varsity One-Act competition. He was even nominated for two Best Actor awards for his performance as the Old Man in "Tracks" by Peter Tarsi. “It boosted my confidence. I felt like I wasn’t a very good actor but when I got two Best Actor awards I was like, 'I’m not that bad.'“
If you don't recognize Pratt from his theatrical performances, you know him from his very own weekly segment in the morning show, dubbed the 'Korney Krew."
The "Korner Krew" was actually named as a nod to former TV Production teacher, Ken Kilinksi. Pratt is a creator and actor for the show that he helped create last school year. “When [Ken Kilinksi] left we started joking about having a shrine in his honor. [Then] we decided that we were going to be the Korner Krew with Ks, since his name started with it.
On the outside, most people only see Pratt as the funny theater and TV kid but really don't see JJ on the inside - especially his tragic past.
“Before sixth grade, my best friend died unexpectedly. That [put me] over the edge. I was like, 'I don’t know what I’m going to do now.' I was bullied from 3rd to 6th grade and that kind of turned [me into] a shut-in. I was not very social, I wasn’t confident...very pessimistic," Pratt elaborated.
But Pratt would go on to build himself back up and become the person he is today. He says he learned it does not matter what people think. “I guess one day I just looked back on how I was and what happened... I realized that it really doesn’t matter what other people think of me.”
Pratt seems to be living proof that adversity builds character. In this case, it's propelled him forward to become one of the most well-known characters on campus, a role he's embraced. Wherever Pratt's journey takes him next, his humor and optimism will serve him well.