For her final intern project, Lily Gustafson got the chance to chat with two elite high school athletes from her community in the Pacific Northwest, Maddy Shultz of Edmonds Woodway High School and Mikayla Pivec of Lynnwood High School, both cities 20 minutes north of Seattle. Their discussion about winning state championships at the ages of 16 and 17, traveling with the women’s national team, getting tweeted at by Elena Delle Donne, balancing school and athletics, and living out the dreams of young girls will be published on Thursday, February 18! Check back soon!

Here’s a sneak peak:

Maddy Schultz: “I remember the first time they named me for the roster to England I cried my eyes out. I was just a girl who was lucky enough to get this gift of kicking a ball and to finally have the chance to wear the United States crest on my jersey was something that only 24 girls at the time would also get to do. You dream of things like this happening but never actually believing that they’ll become your reality.”

Mikayla Pivec: “No, I don’t feel like a celebrity. I’m still that same little girl from Lynnwood, Washington who loves to eat macaroni and cheese and watch Spongebob Squarepants. Every now and then, someone will recognize me and come up to congratulate me on an accomplishment I have had in the past. It’s cool to get that recognition and very nice of them to take the time to say that about me. A couple kids have requested my autograph and that makes me feel like a rock star. To be able to make another person’s day, or even an hour, a bit better helps confirm why I work so hard to improve. Inspiring others creates your bigger purpose than just simply putting a basketball through the hoop.”

Check back this Thursday for the full conversation. We are seeking editorial interns for March – June. Click here for more details!