On Thursday, May 19, the Optimist Club of Salem met Katelyn Doan, a McKay High School senior, to recognize her Outstanding Achievement in Academics. McKay counselor Pascual Oropeza introduced Katelyn and shared her story.
Katelyn experienced a rough few years at McKay and wasn’t sure she would ever make it to high school graduation. Some of her teachers recognized Katelyn was special but knew she would have to overcome obstacles and turn her life around if she wanted to walk across the stage for graduation. Well, Katelyn did just that. Despite having a seemingly insurmountable number of credits to make up during her senior year, this young woman did what she needed to do to graduate with her fellow classmates.
When asked where she found the inspiration, Katelyn said that she tried to picture herself one year, then five years into the future. She explained that she wanted to have choices for herself going forward and knew she needed to get back on track to have them. One club member asked if she had any wisdom to share with students starting high school; Katelyn said she would tell them to take high school seriously—both the work and the relationships with teachers—because school is important even if it seems like it doesn't matter sometimes.
Katelyn thinks she will likely start classes at Chemeketa Community College after graduation. She is interested in real estate but is passionate about animals—“animals love you no matter what, and I love how they do that,” she told the club. Katelyn lived next to a farm growing up and has had a lot of different pets. She’d like to be involved in animal rescue someday.