One of these kids is going to graduate in May of 2016. If you scan the photo you will find her. She will stand out to you as a cheerleader, an FBLA member, a Quiz Bowl Team brainiac, which goes right along with her being in a National Honor Society. And, yes, of course she belongs to the Math Club. She loves math.
You'll know who she is without us having to tell you because she is already wearing her work clothes.
But then she has so many different uniforms.
What you may not know is this is a Daddy's Girl and a Mama's Girl, too. She is an awesome big sister to two little brothers. Sometimes when they get mad at her they tell her they can't wait till she goes off to college. She laughs, "But I know they are going to miss me. And Mama says Daddy is going to be tearing up on graduation night."
We ask her, "Where are you going after high school?"
Again she smiles a huge smile, "Well, at first I was thinking about a community college. Then I started thinking about Southern. I want to be a Registered Nurse, but Mama says I should just go ahead and get my Nurse Practitioner. When I was little I got a doctor's kit as a gift. I wanted to check everybody out, and still today I always want to help people. When I can tell something is wrong with one of my friends or someone in my family I ask them, and if they tell me nothing is wrong I always say, 'Nope. Let's talk.' I like psychology too."
It is an energy this child possesses. We see it so many times, a light in our children's eyes. It is refreshing to be confronted with people like this young woman on a daily basis. As a member of HOSA and in her second year of Allied Health she is one of those people you meet who makes you think, If I have to be sick one day I'd love to look up and see her. She really cares about people.
If we were to make a list of those things which make us believe this young lady is going to be exactly who she wants to be we'd probably say:
1. She is great at juggling. She allowed this interview on a walk to mentor ten year old children. Two hours later we saw her in the back of an ambulance learning about equipment. Just the other day she had two club meetings at the same time, and she managed to physically show up to both and get what she needed.
2. Her mind is sharp and active. She absorbs information by listening.
3. She knows what she wants to be when she grows up so she is shadowing nurses at hospitals and nursing homes. She has a plan and a list, and, like so many others her age, she says, "It goes so fast. It's bittersweet. I'm ready to go, but it came so quick."
"But," she says, "I already know the most important things in the world are love and compassion. People just want people to love them. I'm just a loving person. I've always been that way."
If it's the people right in front of us who tell us about our future then I am grateful for the kids I hear.