Katelyn is the daughter of Russ and Beth Braithwaite.
I am from the best family ever! Growing up with three older siblings and one younger brother has had its adventures. They all may say they are the favorite child, but deep down inside, they know that I will always be the favorite.
I love culture. It defines who I am. I grew up in Brazil and attended an international school where I got my first taste of different cultures. There I learned how people can come from so many different belief systems and create such a great learning and growing atmosphere. Then last summer (2013) I got the opportunity to go on a humanitarian trip to Ghana. After being away from different cultures, this trip to Ghana re-affirmed my fascination and I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Sterling Scholar is a step to that final goal.
Sterling Scholar is a character trait. It is all about the long-term success, so to be a Sterling Scholar means you have lived all your life as a Sterling Scholar. Don’t get me wrong, I have never been perfect at academics, leadership or service. Academics are a constant work in progress. I cannot stand being the center of attention, and sometimes I want to serve myself before others. But through the years of school I have improved in each of those areas and have been better because of it.
My sister was the world language Sterling Scholar and that is when I knew I wanted to be one. She is my biggest example and hero. When I saw her working on her portfolio or shopping for professional clothes, I knew that was what I would be doing in a few years. I looked at her items that she put in her portfolio and made my own list. I started making goals and projects that would help me be the best candidate. As I was doing all this my sister said, “Don’t just do good things for the purpose of putting them in a portfolio, do them to really improve yourself.” That made all the difference, I began to have passion for what I was involved in and my focus shifted off of projects and on to the people the projects were for.
Since becoming a Sterling Scholar I have attended the Utah Valley University Sterling Scholar Banquet and Holcim Sterling Scholar Banquet. I have also done practice interviews and helped with Morgan High School’s blood drive.
To those who want to be Sterling Scholars, be sure you make goals and take pictures! You cannot be a Sterling Scholar without either of these.
I have been involved in various cultural activities. During the summer I participate in the Senate Chinese Buddy program. I get to spend two weeks with Chinese students who were traveling through America and teach them more English, show them around Utah, and form lasting friendships. I also help with the Brigham Young Hunger Banquet that is designed to educate others about world problems and creates the opportunity to do something to help. I interned in an ASL class and got to teach the class a few times as well as practice my ASL.
I enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, repelling and rock-climbing. I also love to cook and then eat! Anything can hold my attention if it involves goldfish or horseback riding.
In the fall I am going to attend UVU and study international development.