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 Hawthorne

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 with them.”

This fall Kayla will attend Purdue University, where she will major in anthropology and agricultural communications.