Discovering who you are as a person and staying true to oneself can be a difficult challenge for many people. For a young man or woman in high school, being surrounded by peer pressure can make the task even more difficult.
La Monte senior Katie Patrick knows that from experience, but because she realized at a young age the importance of being true to herself and relying on the advice of a trusted circle of family and friends, she is well on her way to succeed.
“I really think I am steps ahead of a lot of other people my age,” Patrick said. “I realized that if I wanted to succeed I needed to stay my own person and not follow others.
“I think the more a person can go out on their own the better,” Patrick added. “It shows others who you are as a person and how you want to be represented.”
It is advice Patrick has followed, which has already been of benefit.
During her junior and senior years in high school, Patrick attended the Health Occupations Program through the CTC at State Fair Community College and was awarded her certification as a nurse’s assistant. She also received her registered CPR certification.
“I want to go to school to become either a trauma surgeon or a chiropractor,” Patrick said. “My mom and sister went through the program at SFCC and my sister works in the medical field so hearing stories from her has helped me a lot with my decision.
“I’d like to get started soon working in a hospital and see what the right path is for me in the medical field,” she added.
Helping others is something Patrick has been doing throughout high school. A member of FBLA, Art Club, Science Club, the Math Club and the president of National Honor Society, Patrick has been involved in quite a few service projects.
Patrick has participated in a number of highway trash clean-ups and cemetery clean-up projects and has volunteered at Survival House in Warrensburg and the Viking Exchange, a program to provide new and gently-used items to others at no cost to the individual.
Participating in athletics has also been an important part of Patrick’s education. The captain of the volleyball and softball teams at La Monte, Patrick credits her teammates as being among her closest friends.
“I’ve grown up in the sports program here at La Monte ever since I can remember,” Patrick said. “Most of these girls I have known since we were in grade school.
“We went through a lot together and knowing that our time playing together in high school is over is really hard,” she added. “All of the girls have really added a lot to my life and we are already planning for some reunion games for the future.”
Patrick said two of her coaches, head volleyball coach Rebecca Kirk and head basketball coach Donnie Mays, had supported her and have been a good source of advice regarding her education.
“Both Coach Kirk and Coach Mays have been there for me and have helped me with letters of recommendation and good advice when I have needed it,” Patrick said. “I am very grateful to both of them for all they have done for me.”
As Patrick reflected on her time in high school, she commented that she regretted not pushing herself.
“I wish I would have put myself out there more and tried to do even more things on my own,” Patrick said. “It can be really hard to detach from others and not stay with the crowd but it’s important to do that in life.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484