Kaitlyn Waguespack– Louisiana Nomination by Kristin Waguespack. Photography by J.D. Spencer Photography. Issue 53 of Inspiring Teens Magazine.
Nomination: Kaitlyn is truly an inspiration to all that know her. What most people don’t know about Kaitlyn is that she suffers from severe anxiety. Kaitlyn fights this silent struggle daily but maintains a 4.0 average and is a born leader. Kaitlyn is the Vice President of her senior class, Drum Major of her school’s band and is in both the Gifted Academic and Talented Music programs at her high school. Kaitlyn plans to use her experiences with anxiety to help others with the same issues by majoring in Childhood Psychology with a focus on Mental Health Counseling.
What would you most like to talk about? I would absolutely love to talk about the role music has played in my life. I have been playing in the school band for seven years now, and my life would be completely different had I not picked up a flute as a little fifth grader. Band is one of the many areas that I have excelled in throughout my academic career. I have been blessed to have been able to participate in honor bands across the state of Louisiana, meeting inspirations in the world of band and making new friends along the way!
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? My nomination lists some of my achievements, but it does not cover the struggles I’ve had to overcome to get there. I have dealt with being belittled by my peers almost my entire life. Most people see my list of accomplishments and think that everything has been handed to me on a silver platter. The truth is I spend hours upon hours working towards every goal I have, never taking no for an answer. Throughout the past year, I have also faced hardships at home—from almost losing my mom (my best friend), to my dad facing a work injury.
If you were to present a topic to a group of your peers, what would it be and why? I can talk about the importance of mental health care for teens for hours on end. I am a HUGE advocate for teen mental health because living with crippling anxiety is my reality. I believe that it is so important to recognize that mental illness is just as important as any physical illness and should be treated as such. Countless teens lose their battle to mental struggles every single day because mental health is seen as such a taboo topic, and my life goal is to help break this stigma. Your mental illness does not define who you are.
Look for Kaitlyn in issue 53 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!