Editor's note: While these pages focus on young achievers from the Observer area, we couldn't resist a chance at getting some tips from "American Idol" winner Scotty McCreery when he was in town.
Q. What's one thing worth remembering in tough times?
There's always the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes you've got to work through some tough times and you've got to work really hard. It might seem like it's never going to work out or you're never going to break through, or you're never going to get that record deal, but if you just keep working through, you never know what can happen.
Q. When you're tired and don't want to work anymore, how do you get yourself to keep going?
You've just got to have that extra drive in you. This is a job where it's a lot of fun, but it can get wearing, so you've just got to persevere and know that you'll feel accomplished once you do work through it.
Q. To be considered wise, what must you know?
I think you just need to know enough about what you're talking about and what the subject is. If you want to be a computer engineer, know about computer engineering and go to school for that. If you want to be a singer, study it. I read books, I read Internet blogs, I read all kinds of stuff before I even auditioned for "Idol," to know what I was getting into.
Q. What has been the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome?
This is a job where it's seven days a week and even on the off days you're still working - just not as much.
Q. What character trait of yours was most responsible for your success?
It's tough to talk about myself. Perseverance and motivation. "Idol" is something that people think is the easy way out because they don't have to go to the honky-tonks and stuff, but I dare anybody to go in there and do what I had to go through for four months. It's definitely a pressure cooker.
Q. What is a motto you tend to live by?
"Go big or go home."