I had the pleasure of meeting Caitelyn for her senior photos about a month before her actual graduation at the Broadmoor. It was so neat to talk to a senior literally on the brink of finishing high school and moving on to the next chapter of her life. What I loved about hearing Caitelyn's story as we chatted was that she will be continuing to do things that she loves, even while moving on to her next school.
Caitelyn's plan for after school includes being a part of the cheerleading squad in college, as well as studying what she is passionate about - horses. She will be embarking on an adventure in Equine Sciences. I Have worked in education for almost 12 years now, and I know that these programs are not offered everywhere, so learning about Caitelyn's plans to move out-of-state to attend an Equine Science program showed her bravery and determination to work toward something she loves. These are the kinds of after high school plans that are amazing to hear about. They are the ones that make the student light up, as if they knew all along what they were meant to be when they grew up.
While in high school, Caitelyn has been a part of many activities, clubs, and has received many awards: IEA High School Captain, JV Cheer Captain, Symphonic Band, Most Improved Musician (Concert Band), Most Improved (JV Cheer), Eagle Award (AVID). I loved how some of these interests became a part of her senior session. She brought along her flute and violin. Such beautiful instruments plays by a beautiful soul. W hen she had her instruments in her hand, it came so natural for her. Even when I asked her to play a song lightly, she looked as if she was concentrating on hitting every perfect note. In fact, one of her favorite high school memories involves going to CMEA with the Pine Creek High School Symphonic Band. In addition to playing instruments, Caitelyn uses the arts to also help to calm her mind. She enjoys drawing, painting, and running; these are all things that will help her to stay on track and stay balanced as she continues on to her college life.
One of my favorite parts about Senior Questionnaire that students fill out before their senior session is hearing about their life lessons thus far and advice they would give to their younger classmates. Caitelyn mentions that one the biggest life lessons that she has learned so far is that you win some and you lose some. It's pretty straight forward, but not an uncommon lesson for someone who has been surrounded with competitions while in cheer and horseback riding. In fact, I would argue that this lesson can be applied to many life circumstances. We will also have times in life where we feel that we have "lost" or maybe not have done the best that we could of, but that doesn't mean that we need to quit. We win some and we lose some so that we can learn how to stay motivated and encouraged no matter what happens.
Caitelyn's advice to her younger peers also seems fitting for her personality and her perspective on life. She would let them know that they should enjoy the time that they have and not to worry so much about mistakes as long as you learn from them. Even as Caitelyn steps into the big world after high school, her own advice is humbling and already sets her up for success in that she knows that mistakes will be made, and that is ok. All too often we find ourselves ruminating on our mistakes and wondering what we could have done better, but Caitelyn already knows that there are lessons in the situations that might not go as planned, and that is a beautiful thing.
Lastly, Caitelyn would like to give a shout out to her family for always supporting her. She also is inspired by her mom, who has taught her to ride a horse and help her to navigate decisions with her future plans. She also attributes her favorite teacher, Mrs Margrave, for always being there for her throughout her four years of high school. There are many people to inspire and teach us in our lives, and Caitelyn has an abundance of support as she continues on to pursue her dreams. Caitelyn, I wish you all the best and many glorious adventures as you start this new part of your life. I hope that you enjoy your career path and are able to immerse yourself in learning all you can about your passion in Equine Science. With your kind heart and genetle demeanor, there is no doubt that others will be thrilled to work with you, both humans and horses. Wishing you all the best!