Chandler Kinney has been performing since the age of three, starting out as a dancer before making the leap to acting. Currently starring as Riana Murtaugh on Fox’s “Lethal Weapon,” the 17-year-old activist and high school senior is about to take on one of her biggest challenges yet.
“I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at and touring colleges, as well as speaking with my peers and current college students to help me make my decision,” explains the Sacramento native. “My main priority is choosing a school that can work alongside the demands of my schedule as an actor.”
The value of an education
“I think one of the most important lessons a student receives through their achievement of higher education is how to keep their brain engaged and expanding through their own lives. An education gives you the capacity to have a broader understanding and awareness of the surrounding world,” Kinney shares. “Everyone deserves to have those kinds of experiences, and having your parent there to help you navigate the application and decision process is so helpful. Education is one of the most powerful tools to be equipped with as you move through the world.”
Kinney continues, “Although I’m fortunate enough to already be working professionally in my chosen field pre-college, I think there’s still immense value in achieving higher education. Aside from the fact that college provides credibility, you are also offered the opportunity to be challenged as a critical thinker by being immersed in an intellectually diverse environment.”
This diversity will allow her to expand her knowledge base and consider her future potential in various fields. “The entertainment industry is incredibly unpredictable,” she says, “so having the ability to form a “Plan B” is beneficial. I live by the phrase, ‘Shoot for the moon, and if you fall short, you’ll land among the stars.’”
Giving back while moving forward
Despite a hectic schedule, Kinney finds time to help others through Chandler’s Friends, an organization she and her mother founded to help disadvantaged youths.
“We started very small,” she recalls, “by making blankets for foster children. Since then, we’ve tackled many different projects, not only on our own, but also with different charities and organizations. Besides making a positive difference in someone’s life, charity work or volunteering helps you grow as a person and develop a richer perspective of your surrounding world.”
As for college prep, Kinney is still in the early stages, just enjoying the ride and all of the emotions it brings. “I’m currently in the process of eliminating and narrowing it down to my top couple of choices,” she says. “It really is an exciting time, while simultaneously being highly stressful and slightly daunting.”
Cindy Riley, [email protected]