Can a kid be a feeling? Certainly, if speaking of Nathan Janak

I have a feeling…

We have all heard melodies that have given us goosebumps, voices that make our hearts beat faster, and messages that make us ooze with emotion. There is only one word to describe this rush, this emotional state at which we are almost paralyzed; it is sensation. It is excitement, the thing that draws our attention; it zaps our focus and lulls us into a trance. Now picture a person acting as the source of this emotional rollercoaster. Imagine someone walking into a room, and watching as everyone turns to look; they exhale with wonder. Friends, owls, one of the people in this world that can seemingly pause the tick of time, is here at iUniversityPrep. And his name is Nathan Janak.

A Veteran Owl

Let’s take a pause for a moment and look at some of the basics. Nathan Janak is a junior here at iUniversityPrep and has been here for 6 years. He attests to attending the school with a mere 400 people and witnessing the intimacy it once had before 1000 kids joined and brought today’s total enrollment to a whopping 1400 students. Nathan told iHoot Newspaper, 


“I fell in love with the school within the first month. The students and teachers were so kind, and I realized how engaging it can be to learn, even online.” 


Granted, before he came to iUPrep, he had tried a public school or two, including one in California (wait California?). He said this about public school in LA:


“I tried it for a month, and I kid you not, it did not work out. I had auditions and activities that the school would not release me for, so I had to unenroll. My parents and I knew that if it ever came to it, I could always re-enroll in Texas schools, so we found iUniversityPrep through a mutual friend…”


But wait, readers, if you have been looking closely, you might have seen Nathan mention auditions. And what about that bizarre California thing? Let’s face it, owls. The cat is out of the bag. Nathan Janak is an actor.

Lights, Camera, Action

Since the years of learning how to walk and talk, Nathan has wanted to be an actor, and this desire did not remain a dream. Featured in Nickelodeon TV Shows such as All That and Drama Club, he has seen the cameras, and the cameras have seen him. Having been in LA for more than just a few years, Nathan’s life has been nothing short of a whirlwind. Luckily for this star, there are laws in place to help him keep a bit of balance.


“There are child labor and protection laws in place that require us to do at least 3 hours of school every single day…” “Sometimes we only have an hour to work and then we get called to set for another hour, and it’s hard sometimes to focus and remember the things you did earlier when you have to be fully in-character and off-book on set.”


The list of things that a junior has to do in school seems like a lot to the average person, but for Nathan, it’s a whole different tale. Getting everything done means a lot of time management and diligence, and without a doubt, it can get exhausting quickly. However, there is one thing that makes it all worth it.


“My parents are the reason I’m able to do this. They have been so supportive and helpful in this journey, and I would never be here without them.”


The famous saying is “it takes two”. For Nathan, those two people in his life helped him to live out his dreams, and see all that life has to offer. Without those integral figures that boost us, I’m sure we can all agree that we would go nowhere.

The Making of a Star

The story resumes here; placing a name to the person who can make time stop. Nathan, when entering a room, can make everyone involuntarily shift their attention to him. With a magical ability to be himself without fear of judgment, Nathan clearly knows his worth and never tries to pull the curtain to cover up his true character. And why would he? He has this fun personality that heads will turn for, and mouths will laugh at.


“He can make me laugh at just about anything,” ~McKenna Hietbrink (11th grade)


Whether this is a funny remark or a subtle joke, this junior at iUPrep captures the humor of students of all ages without even trying. By the tone in which he speaks, one can easily tell that this is a natural characteristic of his, not some show. But as we all know, without substance, the humor goes nowhere. Does this make Nathan just a comedian? Certainly not, I would think. Judging by the commentary of his peers, humor is not the only aspect of Nathan’s personality.


“He seems to really care. He listens to people and with 6 years of experience at iUPrep, he can open his ears to hear what other people have to say,” ~Emily DeMotte (11th grade) 


Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but Nathan has come to understand that you will not impact those around you unless you listen to what lies in their hearts.

From Nickelodeon Icon to STUCO Presidential Candidate

One thing to know about stars is this: depending on the amount of light, the star can be seen from all different places. Nathan Janak is no exception. Although he has already woven his way into our souls and his acting career has taken him to unimaginable heights, this owl desires more. From anything but a greedy heart, Nathan decided to run for Student Council President.


“There are so many students here that acquire this mentality that online school will be a place of few friends. I want to take on this leadership opportunity to help embrace them into our school culture and let them know that they have a voice. Online school can be just as engaging if not even more so than a brick and mortar school, and I would like to make that known!”


Not a soul I know would ever think that a Nickelodeon star could be so selfless and encouraging. We have all seen the celebrities on the screen that put on a show for entertainment, but very few can say that their true goal is to help other people.


“Like every leader, I want to inspire. I want students to try and fail and to one day eventually, succeed. All of my failures have helped me learn and given me experience that I have needed to be successful on my journey.”


Nathan knows that without community, succeeding isn’t possible. While attempting to inspire people to dream big, he also hungers to see more involvement in the “owlsome” community iUPrep has to offer.


“I want students to be more active in their school, participate in live lessons, and maybe even join Wisely’s Parliament (iUniversityPrep’s Student Council).”

Inspiration and Student Alike

We all have to start somewhere. For Nathan, his first real glance at leadership started in 7th grade, in which he was elected president in a student run-government in Mr. Duban’s Live Lesson. During this time, he got to run a body of students and learn to make decisions for the greater good. This may seem like a small feat to the outside viewer, but for a 7th grader to get this opportunity is quite rare. It’s safe to say that Nathan capitalized on the chance to lead other students in a school setting. But even without the title of a leader, others around him have noticed his capabilities. Mr. Carter, a previous teacher of Nathan’s, has nothing but good things to say about him.


“In a dynamic Live Lesson, Nathan was my co-host (Tech Apps). He would always be ready to go and he has this really huge personality. He’s a good, nice human, but the over-the-top attitude is what made it fun to be in Live Lesson with him.” ~Mr. Carter


Like said before, the big personality can only go so far on its own, so unless combined with other attributes of a leader, the person may find themselves unsuccessful at life. However, this was not the case in Nathan’s scenario; he has a little bit of everything.


“I have never once had to hound him to get his work done. All three years I had him in pride, he turned in good, quality work that was on time. He’s just an all around good student.” ~Mr. Carter


When it comes to celebrities, one thing Nathan has appreciated is the fact that students at iUPrep still view him as a kid and not always like a Nickelodeon actor. Every once in a while, it’s nice to feel human, and sometimes the pressure of being a star can get to you. Nathan is connected to all sorts of people, other stars, and students included.


“I would view Nathan as the hub. He connects with a whole lot of people, and it definitely is one of his great strengths.” ~Mr. Carter


Many students involved in virtual learning get caught up in the workload so much that they find it hard to connect with other students; however, through Nathan, it’s easy to see that there are still ways to get involved with peers and still maintain a healthy learning environment.


A True Sensation

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” ~Barack Obama

This young man who has captured the hearts of many of his viewers will likely never stop reaching for a brighter future, and he will never wait for change to come. His work ethic and caring nature come out in every little conversation and every well-thought-out question. It is simply impossible to disregard the change we’ve already seen in our community, and this change we’ve noticed has occurred because people like Nathan don’t sit around and wait for others to inspire, or to encourage. Whether we find him eating some sushi and drinking Boba, on a set, or just gaming with some friends, many of us have had the blessing of getting to know this charismatic, larger-than-life, and truly kind human being that we call Nathan Janak. Wherever you are, be on the lookout for the bright-eyed junior whose actions speak louder than his words; and maybe if you have not already, you will have the privilege of experiencing the sensation of Nathan.