Local Christian Student Highlights

Kendyl McKenzie
Classification: 12th Grade
FaithWest Academy

Kendyl McKenzie, FWA senior, exemplifies a PAL. The Peer Assistant and Leadership (PAL) program encourages young people to take a leadership role in strengthening the relationships that exist within the school community by mentoring younger students both academically and socially. In the first year of this program she mentored three students (4th, 8th, and 9th graders). Kendyl works with youth (K-5th grade) every Wednesday night at Faith West, the church where she attends regularly. She has been counseling 8-14 year-olds every summer at Cat Spring Great Adventure Camp since she was fourteen. Kendyl plans to continue this passion for mentoring children of all ages by attending Blinn College in Bryan (before transferring to Texas A&M) to obtain a degree in child education

When asked who has been the biggest influence on your life and why? “Grandma, who is now decreased, gave me motivation (to maintain a good work ethic). That carried over with my mom and dad… They taught me I had to work for something if I wanted it. It wasn’t just given to me-so I value things more.”

Kendyl’s favorite Bible verse is 1 Corinthians 16:13-14. “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love”.

Seth Strickland
Classification: 12th Grade
Faith West Academy

What do the Wright brothers, Jonas brothers, painter Vincent Van Gogh, basketball coach Phil Jackson and Seth Strickland have in common? For one thing he is the son of a minister. When asked what problem he faces by being the son of the Academy’s Chaplin (father) and a mother that is the school’s principal he replied; “Expectations are high. Not by my parents, but from others. I am expected to do the right thing.” He stated that it was like living in a bubble, but he is the same in front of his parents as he is among his best friends.

But Seth is not short on portraying different characters as he had starring roles in FWA theatrical productions; It’s a Wonderful Life, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Meet Me at Luigi’s, Oklahoma, The Music Man, and Baggage Claim. Seth is good for laughter as a principle player of the school’s ComedySportz team. He is Class of 2011 president and the vice-president of the National Honor Society. Seth was a member of the football, basketball, and swimming teams. He is a youth worker for Wednesday night services at Faith West for K-5th grade. So it is not surprising when he will tell you; “I want to live life to the fullest. Getting the most out of life I can.”

When asked who has been the biggest influence on your life and why? “My parents, because they are constantly looking out for me and making sure I’m doing the right thing.”

Catherine Ponder
Classification: 12th Grade
Pope John XXIII

Catherine was born in Alabama and moved to Katy when she was 4 year old. She attended John Paul II Catholic School from Kindergarten through 8th grade, where she was very involved in Girl Scouts. Catherine is now a Senior at Pope John XXIII in Katy where she has participated in various activites. She has been a 4-year Varsity Cheerleader, played 4 years of Varsity Basketball for the Lady Lions, is a member of the National Honor Society, Assistant Drum Major, Student Ambassador, Latin Club President, Homecoming nominee, and a 4-year Scholar Athlete. Catherine is an Honor Roll student with Pride Member and Top Cat Awards. Catherine has been accepted to Texas A&M, St. Edward’s University, and Baylor University. She wants to major in Medicine, even though she hasn’t decided just where she will attend college.

Catherine’s favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”

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