February Student of the Month: McAlester's Kaylee Irvin

Mar. 23—Where do you want to go to college and why?

To pursue a career in Speech Language Pathology and Music, I want to attend Northeastern State University in Tahlequah to achieve a master's degree, and a teaching degree in music to enhance elementary kids' speech and knowledge of music.

What is your list of accomplishments including scholarships received?

So far, I have received the "Green & White Scholars" scholarship from Northeastern State University for the amount of $1,400 per year. I have received Superior awards for the OSSAA Vocal Solo and Ensemble Contest, and the Kiamichi Electric National Anthem Talent Search. I received a 4 on the AP Language and Composition Exam, and an "Honorable Mention" award of $25 for my poetry submission at East Central University's Annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival.

What drives you to succeed?

For me, knowing that I am better and stronger than the childhood that I still heal from every day, is what drives me to overcome all of the obstacles in my way in order to succeed.

Who inspires you to excel in school and why?

What inspires me to excel in school is simply just wanting to soak up as much information as I can, because I've always had a drive for wanting to know more and more. Having extremely intelligent classmates/friends also helps, so that I can compete with them.

What community activities are you involved in and what drives you to give back to the community?

I'm the Vice President of McAlester High School's Thespian Club. Every year we collect cans for our annual food drive on Halloween. This time, they were donated to the Youth Shelter, and the Hope House. What drives me to give back is not myself, but the influence that my Nene, Sandy Keener, has had on me for forever. She works at Shared Blessings, and her acts of kindness inspire me to make my own.

What are your extracurricular activities and how do they improve your education?

Choir, Thespian Club, and our Spring Musical. I have been cast as Belle in this year's musical production of "Beauty and the Beast." Without being involved in these activities, school wouldn't be the same. If I couldn't grow in my talents and be around those fine arts every day, it would be boring and I most likely would not have a passion for performing.

How would a new car help achieve your goals?

A new car would do away with any worries of finances, and safely getting to college in Tahlequah. It would take a weight off of my shoulders regarding being on my own, and therefore helping me focus on furthering my education.

—Derrick James