This is the eighth in a series of profiles of area graduates. On the recommendation of school administrators, one senior from each Kaysinger Conference School and graduates from Sedalia School District 200 will be profiled, sharing their reflections of high school and plans for the future.
There is a great deal that can be said about living and growing up in a small town with the values and beliefs that the people who live there share on a daily basis with their family and others.
Hope Beykirch, a senior at Sacred Heart School, knows this all too well and it is something she plans to take with her as she starts the next chapter in her life’s journey.
“I’ve learned so much about myself and others growing up in Sedalia,” Beykirch said. “I owe everything that I am and all that I have to my family.
“They have been so supportive and have taught me so much about gratitude and life and integrity and everything good that follows,” she added. “Sacred Heart and the people here teach that as well.”
Beykirch will take those lessons with her when she moves to Chicago to attend Loyola University to study psychology with an emphasis on neuro and trans-psychology.
“I’m very fascinated with how people become who they are,” Beykirch said. “I took a wellness class in school that deals with spirituality and the inner workings of the mind and how to care for the whole person.
“It’s become a dream of mine to receive my PhD. and work in that field,” she added. “I want to give back and help others figure out their path in life.”
Beykirch said she did not have to look far to find a role model to emulate and help shape her decision.
“I looked at my mom (Sacred Heart Counselor Sherry Buckley) and how she always helps others and I knew I wanted to become a person like her,” Beykirch said. “She helped to give a purpose to my life.
“The school also taught us to give back,” she added. “We have a strong tradition of community service here and reaching out to others because you never know what they may be going through. I will take that with me when I go on.”
It is Sacred Heart, which Beykirch describes as culturally diverse and eclectic, that also helped in her decision to move to Chicago to study.
“We really are like a family here,” Beykirch said. “But because we have so many students from different backgrounds that I have learned from, I want to continue to do that when I go to college.
“As much as I love Sedalia, I have always thought about living in a big city and submerging myself in the culture there and learning from it,” she added. “I know I will miss how I feel like I am part of a big family here but I hope I can bring the small town values I grew up with there to other people’s lives.”
A dear friend of Beykirch’s, Zach Parsons, who died in a car accident earlier this year, helped Beykirch understand the advice she would give to others.
“I learned a lot about myself from Zach,” Beykirch said. “He was always 100 percent authentic and true to who he was.
“Zach never tried to fake who he was or what he was feeling because when a person does that they won’t end up where they are supposed to be,” Beykirch added. “He was always willing to reach out to others and was so nice and kind. I think we all learned from him; his passing in a sense made us all stronger in our loss.”
Beykirch said she would miss her family and friends and the structure of school a great deal during her undergraduate and graduate studies, which will take six years to complete.
“I love learning and the structure and routine of studying and homework,” Beykirch said. “But I also love learning through experiences and opportunities.
“It has been a hard decision to go,” she added. “But a friend told me, ‘You always have the chance to come home, but you may not have the chance to go away.’ I know this is my chance.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484