The Person Who Changed my Life

September 11, 2008
By Kirsten Billman, Zionsville, IN

When you are having a bad day or you did not do well on your Spanish test, who do you go to? Who do you look at and realize that your life is not as bad as it seems to be? For me, this person is a fellow senior named Katie. Katie is also a fellow teammate for me, for she and I both run cross country. She started running cross country her sophomore year. Katie will be graduating from Westfield High School in June of 2009. I picked Katie as my hero because she can organize her time in a fashionable manner, is well prepared, has overcome many obstacles, and is modest.

I look up to Katie for many reasons. One of these reasons is that she organizes her time very well. She manages to run cross country and track and still find time to get all of her homework completed and study for tests. I am having trouble in finding time to do both a sport and all of my homework so I asked her how she does it and she says, “This year I am executing my schedule for homework and making sure I get all of it done before I go to bed. And if I can not, then I wake up early the next morning, and I make sure I do my homework during that class rather than talking with my friends; it gets hard sometimes.”

I also look up to Katie because she is very well prepared for what comes after high school. She knows that she wants to go to college, but she says, “I am still looking for the right school God wants me to be at.” Although she is still looking for the right college, she says that she is very interested in going to Ball State in Muncie, Indiana. She is interested in going to school there because it is close to home and relatives and it has a very well recommended social working program. Katie hopes to become a social worker and wants to find a job in Marion County or near downtown Indianapolis. Also, after college Katie wants to go on a mission trip a third world country, preferably to Africa, Peru or Costa Rica.

Katie has had to overcome many obstacles over the course of her high school career. During her junior year, her father came in contact with her family for the first time in eleven years. She says that she “didn’t cope well with it at first.” She told me she is still dealing with it today, but she has God, her family, and a small group helping her get through it. Then, just four days before Christmas, Katie’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She says when she first found out, she was really mad at God for allowing this to happen to her mom. She did not think that her mom had done anything to deserve this after everything that she and her family had already gone through. Katie says, “I knew she had it, but I think I sort of numbed myself so that I could be viewed as being strong and not being affected by it. So lately I've kind been struggling with getting past that and moving on.” At the end of March, Katie was also shocked by hearing of the death of her friend’s father. He died from pneumonia. She told me she felt bad because she had not talked to this friend for a while and in order for Katie to talk to her, something horrible had to happen. Katie reminds me of an abused Pit Bull because after all of the abuse, they can still find a way to love people again.

Katie is also a very modest person. When I asked her if she viewed herself as a hero she laughed and said, “Honestly, no. I view myself as a friend.” I also wanted to know who Katie looks up to and she said her mom. Her mom has been through so much in her life, but through everything what Katie likes most about her mom is that she was able to stay a Christian and still love God no matter what obstacle he puts in her way.

Overall, I think I met Katie for a reason. I think she is here to teach me many things that I will value in my lifetime. She has gone through many hardships, but she is still very grateful and she tries to make you content. She is a great role model for anyone and I hope that everyone who meets her takes the time to get to know her; no matter who you are, where you are from, or what you believe in, I know Katie will find a way to change your life, just like I know she will change mine.

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