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Hilmar student champions black belt title, pursues drama
studentspotlight liam photo
Liam Wickstrom

With a black belt in Taekwondo and a penchant for theater, Liam Wickstrom is not your average 13-year old.

Originally from China in an area near Beijing, Liam was adopted eight years ago to parents in Hilmar and now resides there with his three sisters, one brother, and two dogs.

Liam is homeschooled at Providence Christian Academy where he has individualized school lessons as well as group exercises. His favorite group class is drama. On Friday he auditioned for the school play, "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe," which will show in February at the Denair Gaslight Theater.

Other than drama, Liam’s favorite subject in school is math.

“I like it because it’s like a puzzle; it’s a challenge,” he said.

When Liam is not in school, he practices Taekwondo in downtown Turlock. He has studied the sport for the past two and half years and earned his black belt last July.  On weekends he travels to the Bay Area to perform competitively.

Liam recently used his multimedia skills to help raise awareness of an orphanage in the Philippines. Through the help of his teacher, Liam connected with local priest Father Marcelino of Saint Anthony’s Church in Hughson. Liam interviewed the Father about founding and directing an orphanage in the Philippines.  His video interview was used on a  website promoting the orphanage.

When Liam isn’t learning more about orphanages, putting his black belt to use or auditioning for plays, he enjoys being a regular kid and playing outside. His next exciting activity is a Halloween celebration at his Taekwondo studio. That evening he will meet with other kids from his Taekwondo classes for a sleepover at the studio that will include candy, movies, and just enjoying being a kid.