Katharine Walker – Tennessee Nomination & Photography by Cindy B. Thymius Photography Issue 72 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Katharine Walker is a senior at Fayette Academy. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Ecology Club, Interact Club, Captain of the varsity cheer squad, and president of the Pep Club. She plans to attend Mississippi State to pursue a degree is pre-occupational therapy. Her goal is to work with the children at St. Jude or Lebonheur. A huge honor for Katharine was being named one of the top 5 fundraisers for St. Jude during LCF 2023. She grew up in rural TN on a corn, cotton, soybean, and cattle farm.
Photography by Cindy B. Thymius Photography
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? I am a member of Christ Presbyterian church where I have always enjoyed working with the children's ministry and VBS. I have always wanted to work with children and make a positive impact in their lives. I enjoy working with the younger cheerleaders as they grow in the sport. I try hard to be a positive role model.
What else would you like to talk about? As a child, I suffered from severe ear infections that greatly impacted my ability to hear and recognize sounds. This made it difficult for me to learn to read and spell. My parents worked diligently with me to overcome that early-learning setback so that I could develop good study habits that serve me well to this day. I do believe that more research needs to go into when tubes are inserted and what the impact of not doing that at the proper time does to a child's development.
What do you feel passionate about or could talk about forever? I feel passionate about open adoption like the one I am lucky enough to be a part of. I was adopted as an infant, as was my biological sister. My parents have always told me my birth story, I know my birth family and all of my medical history. Through the camps help each summer by the agency, I was able to make life-long best friends all across the country that share the same experiences. I feel that all adoptions should be open for the well-being of the adoptee.
How did you find your photographer, Cindy B. Thymius Photography? What was your experience like? What did you love most about it? Cindy has been a friend of the family since I was three and she photographed my sister and me. She knows us well, is fun when we have a photography session, knows how to make me comfortable and I think get the very best pictures.
Photography by Marjory Walker
What are you most looking forward to in your senior year? I am looking forward to my last year of high school experiences and making life long memories.
What is the most interesting thing you've learned so far this year? This year I am taking a class called Life Skills and I have learned about how to do taxes and information about different types of insurances.
What has been your favorite service project for the NHS? My favorite service project for NHS is always the grandparents breakfast. I love seeing all the grandparents come and hangout with their grandkids for the day while they enjoy breakfast and music.
Tell us about your favorite activity in the Ecology Club. I love when we go on our annual trip during fall break. We usually go to Land Between the Lakes but this year we are going to Loan Oaks. I always enjoy spending time with everyone and doing fun activities in nature.
What is Interact Club and what are your goals there? Interact Club is our school doing projects to help our community and school. Every month we try to do a project that will help others in some way whether that is by making their day or by doing a task for them.
What are your roles and responsibilities as Captain of the varsity cheer squad? I have been cheering all four years of high school so I was given the honor to be captain. As captain I am in charge of deciding on uniforms, picking dances, teaching all new material and also coaching middle school cheer (which might be my favorite part). But, I could not do it alone I have a great squad and coaches that are always willing to help!
What do you love most about being the president of the Pep Club? I love being able to help pick the themes for the games, making banners/ poster, and also to help pick out fun games/activities for pep rallies to get the high schoolers and little kids excited for games!!
Photography by Addison Walker
What are you doing now to help plan for your degree in pre-occupational therapy? I have talked to many OTs and this Christmas break I plan to shadow at the NHC in our town.
Why is St. Jude so important to you? I have known many people that have been sent there and gotten the helped they need which has always made me so happy. I love kids and want to be able to help them and I love how St. Jude does not cost the family anything through the hard times.
What do you wish others knew about growing up on a farm? All the things that go into growing our food and taking care of animals. I think it shows you how beautiful our world really is.
If you had nothing to do and all day to do it, where would we find you? You would probably find me with my mini golden doodle Winnie either out doing something or outside.
What is up next for you that you are super excited about? I am excited about going to college and making new memories and new experiences.
Look for Katharine in issue 72 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!