May 26, 2017
Competing in four sports while maintaining a 4.1 GPA may
sound like too much for one high school student to handle, but for Crispus
Attucks Medical Magnet High School Valedictorian Kayla A. Hawthorne, this balancing
act comes naturally.
Kayla learned the value of discipline and hard work from her
father, a longtime wrestling coach. However, it wasn’t until middle school (at
Sidener Academy for High Ability Students) that she began taking her academics
seriously. She realized then the opportunities that can come with performing
well in the classroom.
After overcoming the challenges of transitioning to high
school, Kayla has improved academically each year. She stays focused and
continues to keep her sights on the big picture.
“I think playing sports and participating in extracurricular
activities helped me get my grades together. They gave me a way to blow-off
steam and another reason to give my best effort in class,” said Kayla.
Setting goals and taking on challenges has pushed Kayla to
reach new heights, never being afraid to compete against others or herself. Not
only did Kayla participate on Attucks’ varsity volleyball and wrestling teams
in 2017, but she earned a first place at the inaugural Indiana High School
Girls Wrestling State Finals.
Aside from playing sports, Kayla is also a member of the
school band, supporting her fellow student athletes and proudly representing
her Crispus Attucks Tigers.
As a role model for Attucks’ underclassmen, Kayla understands
the importance of setting a strong example for the younger students.
“I stress the significance of prioritizing. As somebody who
tries to do a lot, if you don’t have your priorities set then you will find
yourself falling behind on the important things,” said Kayla. “I see a lot of
freshmen and sophomores going through this, so I like to share my experiences
This fall Kayla will attend Purdue University, where she
will major in anthropology and agricultural communications.