Brush with fame: Teens & Twenties writer is tutored by Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher

Teens & Twenties writer Lauren Kalo won a contest through the tutoring site, Chegg, and had the opportunity to have a video chat with celebrity Ashton Kutcher. / Photo submitted

Commentary by Meghna Mahadevan
Times-News correspondent

   Lauren Kalo has met more celebrities during the span of 16 years than most of us ever will in a lifetime. From meeting Taylor Swift, American Authors, Rachel Platten and many other artists to being featured in one of Cassadee Pope’s music videos, there’s little that she has not done.
Her most recent meeting with a celebrity was probably the most personal one and I was fortunate enough to be there to witness it myself. Lauren won a video conference with Ashton Kutcher, the renowned actor and businessman, via the popular tutoring website, Chegg, a few weeks ago, and on Nov. 17, she was given the opportunity to chat with him about virtually anything.
The conversation spanned a wide range of topics and began with Ashton Kutcher asking Lauren about her life in Burlington as a Western Alamance High School junior as well as her interests. Kutcher also discussed his life as a high-schooler in a small town and went on to say that despite people’s love of compartmentalizing things, he participated in a myriad of activities as a high- schooler and as an adult, stating that he, “never felt that he had to stick with just one particular thing.”
    Kalo said that she found this to be incredible advice for all teenagers because, “we’re all at a point where we’re deciding what we want to do, and we fail to see that there are lots of opportunities available to us.”
The conversation was mainly about Kutcher’s ventures as a businessman and consisted of him encouraging Kalo to do what hasn’t been done before. When Lauren expressed her desire and hesitation to start an app of her own, Kutcher said, “I’ve never met someone who’s successful that didn’t fail before they succeeded.”
Kalo said that this was the most profound piece of advice given throughout the conversation because, “it inspired me to change the world and realize that I don’t have to get it right on the first try.”
Amidst the conversations about business, there also were some hilarious, lighter moments, such as the 5-minute conversation about Adam Levine’s new haircut that ensued from mentioning the TV show “The Voice.”
At one point, my friend Mary Allison and I also gained the opportunity to talk to Kutcher, in which he gave us some incredible advice, and we recommended he take up Irish dancing.
He told us that “the opposite of happiness is not sadness, but boredom. Anytime you find something that excites you or interests you, you should pursue it and then you’ll be happy.”
The conversation ended with Kutcher expressing what he looks for in a business before investing in it and a shoutout to the class of 2017, which is what Lauren Kalo is a part of.
Afterward, Kalo described the conversation as “interesting, fun and very entertaining. I’m so glad to have been able to participate in this opportunity, it was incredible getting to know Ashton Kutcher so well.”

 Meghna Mahadevan is a sophomore at Western Alamance High School and a Teens & Twenties writer.


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