By Chelsea Groom | Life Schools | SPECIAL to Ellis County Sports Sports
Meet Kayla Jenkins: A Life High School Waxahachie graduate, track star and soon-to-be criminal justice lawyer. Currently attending Texas Southern University on a track scholarship, Jenkins is running her race with her sights set on a Criminal Justice degree.
“I plan on getting my Bachelor’s, Masters, and Juris Doctorate degree,” she confirmed. “After that, I plan to take my bar exam and pass it, so I can start practicing law and eventually own my own law firm.”
With an impressive record on the track, Jenkins placed fourth in the 100-meter dash and won the bronze medal in the 300-meter hurdles at the 20190 UIL Class 4A state track and field championships her junior year.
Though the Class of 2020 struggled with the COVID-19 pandemic during their senior year, Jenkins chooses to look on the bright side of life by reflecting on the past. Beginning her Life School journey in the sixth-grade, Jenkins graduated from LHSW this past June with over 200 fellow classmates.
“My experience at Life School was amazing,” Jenkins expressed. “They make you feel like family […] The teachers are always making sure you’re on top of your grades and they try and help bring them up.”
One English teacher, in particular, influenced Jenkins in more ways than one.
“I have met so many amazing teachers while being at Life School, but I would have to say my favorite teacher would be Mrs. Langren,” Jenkins recalled.
“She made it a relaxing learning environment and it was fun to learn and be in her class. […] She also was there when I needed a shoulder to cry on and listened to our problems. She was a teacher and a friend,” she added.
From pep rallies to home games and spirit weeks, Jenkins also involved herself in a variety of extracurriculars during her high school career.
“I’ve been doing sports since the seventh-grade. I did basketball and track, and then continued doing track all the way to my senior year,” she explained, also including her participation on the cheer team during her eighth and ninth-grade year.
Continuing her love for athletics, Jenkins joined LHSW’s Health Science Program as a Student Athletic Training Aid during her senior year.
“The athletic trainers were a family on and off the field, court, and track,” she reminisced. “The bonds and relationships I made are something I’ll never let go.”
With over 1,000 students participating in 17 interscholastic sports across the district, Life School’s reputation is known for character training and good sportsmanship. Student athletic training aids have not only taken these attributes to heart but have also provided 3,447 treatments for athletic students throughout this past year.
Jenkins adds to this, conveying how athletics empowered her to deal with success and how to overcome adversity in a variety of ways.
“Sports had an impact [on me] because it made me motivated and gave me a reason to want to get up,” she emphasized. “I created unbreakable bonds with my teammates and coaches. We were a family on and off the track.”
Taking what she’s learned, Jenkins remains resilient as she encourages the Class of 2021 to put their’ toe to the line’ and make every moment count.
“It doesn’t get easier, but you have to put forth the effort or you’re just going to make it harder on yourself,” she advised. “Be self-motivated and aim for the goals you set for yourself, and continue setting them because the grind never stops.”
With a bright future ahead, Jenkins credits Life School for preparing her for the next step of her academic pursuit.
“Life school helped me because the teachers pushed me to be the best me I could be,” Jenkins acknowledged. “They helped me along the way and guided me in the right direction. I thank them for believing in me and helping me become who I am today.”
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