Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
By Melissa Svec
Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School
Michaela Daly gladly took one for the team.
The Herscher native had played forward for most of her youth soccer career. Right before her freshman soccer season, she was asked to play sweeper, which is the last defender before the goalie.
That same season, her team made it to the state championship match and took second place. Ever since she has stayed at the position — and flourished.
“I like it because I get to slide-tackle people,” Daly said with a laugh.
Daly has four older brothers: Patrick, Sean, Tyler and Matt. She has two younger siblings, a brother, Noah, and a sister, Delaney. Being one of the middle children, Michaela never let the “middle-child” stereotype define her.
Surrounded by six siblings might make Daly feel stuck in the middle, but she is far from that. A natural leader, Daly, 17, continuously exhibits her sense of leadership through guidance, advice and some tough love. From the soccer field to just a casual night in her friend’s basement, Daly’s uplifting spirit is easily spotted despite her personal struggles.
Having a history of depression in her family, Daly suffered from it as a freshman. She doesn’t specifically put the blame on anyone, but she did say an ex-boyfriend and a few friends didn’t exactly treat her the way she wanted. Like a leader should, Daly overcame her personal struggles.
Surrounded by a small group of tight-knit friends, Daly emerged as the “mother” figure of the group. Not one for parties, Daly willingly drives her friends to social events, and keeps an eye on everyone she cares for, just like her role model. Kathy Nowacyk is that role model. Nowacyk is a New Jersey native and her mother’s best friend, the type of woman who tells it like it is.
In her free time, Daly writes for her school newspaper, pens short stories and reads a variety of books. She plans on continuing her journalistic career and hopes eventually to have one of her books published. She believes that is a reachable goal based on the dedication she puts into everything she does.