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Seen and Heard: JMHS grad gave the wheel a big spin

Winning money on "Wheel of Fortune" is harder than it looks, says Rochester native Roya Bashier, who recently took home more than $15,000.
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"If you’ve every considered trying out for a game show or if there’s something you’ve always wanted, take a chance and run with it, see where that gets you," says Roya Bashier.

The John Marshall High School graduate and current Stanford University student took a chance and earned herself a spot on her favorite game show, "Wheel of Fortune."

Growing up, Bashier and her family enjoyed watching the game show and "competing" from their own living room.

Last month Roya found herself on the game show set receiving advice from longtime host Pat Sajak("very funny and charismatic") and hostess Vanna White("a sweetheart").

It was "College Week," so she and her fellow contestants were all college students, which provided lots of fun and laughter. Speaking of laughter, Bashier’s winning puzzle was "belly laugh," which led to prize money of over $15,000. Roya hopes to use the money for moving expenses after college and to travel a bit.


If you’ve ever watched a game show and wondered how a contestant might miss a simple question, Roya says, "Now that I’ve been on the show, I see how easy it is to get flustered and feel the time pressure. It’s much different than guessing puzzles in the comfort of your own home, with zero potential for embarrassment!"

Lasonya’s songs

Music appears to be great medicine and several stories have recently emerged from Mayo Clinic that center on music uplifting patients.

Nurse practitioner Lasonya Natividadhas calmed and comforted those receiving medical care with her voice. Her singing has eased the anxiety and fear of both patients and their families.

She says music "helps me connect with many of them. I am able to more easily build trustful relationships with my patients. They are able to see I am not unlike them. I just went to school for a degree in health care. Building that foundation relationship makes it easier for me to convince my patients to invest in their health care."

Whether she is singing an uplifting round of "Happy Birthday" or a soothing hymn, Natividad’s music, partnered with medicine, is a part of her patients’ healing process.

Singing since she was 3 years old, Lasonya’s voice isn’t just a part of her workday. In addition to nursing, she is the praise and worship leader at Vision Church, singing acoustic music on Sunday mornings.

Live music venues have also expanded here in Rochester, and Natividad has taken to several stages including Café Steam and Thursdays on First. "Music offers a way for us to connect and transcend barriers which is much needed in a time when we are so divided. I want to play my part in being part of that change."


Lasonya’s biggest fans — her husband, Heriberto Natividad,and her mother, Sara Pierson, almost never miss a performance. "Having a great support system makes a huge difference in my life," she said.

Songs are at the heart of nurse practitioner Lasonya Natividad’s (center) work with patients at Mayo Clinic. Music "helps me connect with many of them," she says.

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