NJ Cops May 2014 - Page 80

80 NEW JERSEY COPS ■ MAY 2014 Cop of the charts Seventeen-year-old Kelsey Coan draws inspiration from anti-bullying message and other experiences close to her law enforcement father to make beautiful music. By the time she reached middle school, Kelsey Coan – daughter of Camden County Corrections Officer Anthony Coan – was beginning to feel left out. Her favorite activities – singing, dancing and acting – set her apart from her peers who seemed happier just following the pack. “They only cared about sports or walking the streets and gossiping about others who weren’t up to their ‘standards,’” Kelsey recalled. “They made fun of not only the things I enjoyed, but also the way I looked: my clothes, how I did my hair, that I didn’t wear makeup or that I wasn’t ‘thin’ like a model.” Kelsey used to make up illnesses just so she could stay home and avoid the bullies. “I just couldn’t take the mental bullying every day anymore,” she admitted. Finally, Kelsey’s parents, Anthony and Terri, pulled their daughter out of public school. She moved to a private school for seventh and eighth grade, and is now homeschooled. Still, auditions at theater camp and for a traveling show choir placed Kelsey in the background, hearing critiques such as “you could try again next year,” or “we will keep you in mind.” At this point, Kelsey felt like maybe she wasn’t “good enough.” It took a visit to a local recording studio for things to turn around. “Each engineer from those studios told me I had a ‘unique and wholesome’ voice and that I should be proud of myself,” Kelsey related. “This made me feel so good inside. For the first time, besides my family of course, I was told t ]H