Emery Keebaugh – Kansas Nomination & Photography by Abby Lynne Photo Issue 72 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Emery Keebaugh is an inspiring teen not only for her school involvement and the way she treats others, but for being an outstanding student athlete! She has won 4A state triple jump three times and has accepted an athletic scholarship from Washburn University to play Volleyball in 2024. Some of her other accomplishments include a 4.0 grade average, being a National Honor Society Member, being a three-sport athlete, and making the All State Volleyball Team her Sophomore and Junior years. As part of her academic pathway, she works in a kindergarten class and hopes to be a teacher someday!
Photography by Abby Lynne Photo
What is the triple jump and what do you do to train for it? The triple jump is a jumping event, slightly similar to the long jump, but instead of one jump, I alternate between three leg cycles. The triple jump is all about speed and power so I do a lot of running and leg workouts to stay in shape for this event.
What does it mean to you to be a triple time champion of the triple jump? It was so exciting!!! I was really proud of myself because I put in a lot of hard work and time. The State Track Meet in Wichita is so much fun but I was super nervous, so I was so happy to be able to pull it off again my junior year. I felt lucky to have such an awesome jumping coach, Coach Rose, by my side.
Tell us about your volleyball career. I had not picked up a volleyball before sixth grade but decided to give it a shot when I started middle school in Ottawa, KS. I loved it from the minute that I stepped on the court. Volleyball is SUCH a team sport, everyone involved must work hard together. I love this aspect, playing has created such amazing friendships and bonds.
What is your volleyball team like? Where do you fit in and where do you stand out? My school volleyball team is very close, they are like my family. We all get along and have a wonderful time together. I am extremely competitive so at times, am frustrated when we don’t play well because I know the girls on my team and KNOW we can play better. I would say I am considered a leader on the court, but volleyball is a team sport so in order to win, it takes all of us putting in effort and hustling.
What is the third sport you play and what is a favorite accomplishment from it? The third sport I play is basketball. I made All League Honorable Mention and the All Defensive Team my Junior Year so that was a huge accomplishment for me. I have a lot of fun playing and love my coach and teammates.
Photography by Abby Lynne Photo
What is your favorite class this year and what is the most interesting thing you've learned? Much to my surprise, I have loved my Economics Class this year. I am very interested in the economic system in our country and how it regulates and affects our spending ability, including cost of living. What has been your favorite service project in the NHS? My favorite service project for NHS is working at Meals on Wheels. I helped prepare and package meals for individuals and families who are unable to do so themselves. It was rewarding and fun.
What do you love most about working in the kindergarten class? I love the kids! I love helping and watching them learn new things. My favorite thing is seeing the look in their eyes when they learn something new or have done something correctly.
How would you describe your leadership style? I am more of a “show not tell” person when it comes to my leadership style. I would prefer that others learn from my actions rather than saying something verbally. I have had some great leaders and coaches so have a lot of people to look up to and hope that others will say the same about me.
What will you miss most about high school? I will miss a ton about high school! It is hard to narrow it down…I will miss my friends, my teachers, my coaches, sports, and activities (to name a few). High School has been amazing but I am ready to take the next step.
What are you most looking forward to about attending Washburn University? I am most looking forward to playing volleyball. I am excited about the whole college experience: being on my own, classes, making new friends, new experiences, etc. However, I am most excited about playing volleyball for a college level team and everything that comes with being part of it.
Photography by Abby Lynne Photo
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? Although I spend A LOT of time participating in sports, I also love to hang out with my friends, my family, and my dog, Margo. I am a huge dog lover! I try to help others out with their dogs whenever I can and have volunteered at the local dog shelter in the past. Overall, I just try to be a good person. I am DEFINITELY not perfect and have had to learn huge lessons in my life but if possible, I try to remember: "If you can't say something nice, don't talk at all is my advice" (my Nana taught me this when I was little)
What do you feel passionate about or could talk about forever? Probably sports, volleyball in particular. I started participating in sports at a very young age and it has always been my outlet and passion. I love everything about playing: it is a great way to stay physically fit and healthy, it helps with anxiety, it is a great way to meet new friends, and most importantly, it is just super fun! When I am not playing volleyball, I spend a lot of time watching (on TV and in person). It is absolutely amazing to me just how good the elite athletes are and what they have accomplished.
How did you find your photographer, Abby Lynne Photo? What was your experience like? What did you love most about it? I found my photographer, Abigail Hochuli, through friends. I wasn't sure about the location, just that I wanted the photos to be in an urban setting, so I let Abby decide. I am so glad that I did! I loved the locations that she chose and we had the best time. I am not the best at looking "natural" but Abby made me laugh and I felt completely comfortable. It was SO hot the evening of my shoot (over 100 degrees) but Abby was such a trooper and went above and beyond to make sure we got the best photos.
If you had nothing to do and all day to do it, where would we find you? I would most likely be hanging out with my friends, playing with my dog, practicing volleyball, or sleeping/relaxing (I don’t have a ton of time to chill so I like to take advantage when I can).
What is up next for you that you are super excited about? I am super excited about attending Washburn University in the fall of 2024 and playing volleyball for the next four years. I look forward to meeting new friends and having new experiences, both on and off the court.
Look for Emery in issue 72 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!