2013 Terrific Teen: Kathryn Grace Almon
Senior, Charlotte Catholic High School
Parents: Robert and Faye Almon
Articulate | Engaging | Philanthropic
The first time Kathryn Grace Almon saw a fencing practice, she was hooked. Almon was in sixth grade with a growing interest in "Star Wars," and her mom thought the sport might be a good extension of her daughter's newfound obsession.
"Nothing captured me like fencing did," says Almon, who recently ranked in the top 16 in the Division III women's national championship. She describes fencing as a "physical game of chess" and says that she loves the independence and power she feels competing on the fencing strip. Almon practices twice a week for at least two hours with the Charlotte Fencing Club and competes in several national tournaments each year.
She also focuses on community service and has logged more than 200 volunteer hours with Carolinas Medical Center. After serving weekly in the neonatal unit, Almon became a volunteer leader at CMC. She has served two terms on the March of Dimes Youth Council, where she helps publicize the nonprofit organization's cause and raise money for birth defects research. In 2012, she led a team for the March of Dimes March for Babies walk named after her cousin Christopher, who died from a birth defect, and raised more than $1,200.
She has also served in former N.C. Rep. Sue Myrick's Youth Advisory Council and recently gathered hundreds of signatures from students and faculty for a get-well poster sent to a CCHS alumnus who was critically injured in an accident in Brazil. She ranks second in her class out of 328 seniors, is a member of the National Honor Society and has taken eight advanced placement courses.
"She loves learning and academic challenges," says Cathy Grady, a counselor at Charlotte Catholic High School. "(That's) just one reason why she is so highly regarded by the faculty." She is a member of her school's book club and retreat team. Almon hopes to pursue a career in biomedical engineering, inspired by the technology that has helped her best friend, who has a heart condition.
"The one thing that most people would say about me is that I'm a very happy person," Almon says. "People stress out about grades and school, and I do too, but I try to keep grounded in faith and just be happy."
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Photos: Becca Bond Photography