Meet & Greet Standout Students: Katelyn Sheets

Katelyn Sheets

Resume Highlights: Graduate of Holly Springs High School with an AP Capstone Diploma. President of National Honor Society and Science National Honor Society. Founder of Mental Health Advocacy Club, four-year varsity swimmer.

Future Plans: Sheets will attend Duke University and plans to study biology and genetics. It’s interesting to learn about how the world works from that small of a perspective. I think genetics is a field that has a lot of potential, it’s pretty new and there’s still a lot to be learned.

AP Capstone Diploma Program: It’s a way to develop your research skills with your English skills at the same time. I really enjoyed having that research component … you conduct your own research, send out surveys and write a paper at the end. My research question was relating to climate change and the psychological impact it has on teens; assessing levels of climate anxiety in teens and testing a couple different solutions to see how effective they were in reducing climate anxiety.

Swimming: Practice would start at 5:15 a.m., you have to be on deck at 5 a.m.. I would leave the house at 4:30 a.m.. I can’t say I miss that so much. But it’s fun having the team there in the morning, that made it much better.

I really liked relays, too. It’s really motivating to have that group that will hold you accountable.

Mental Health Awareness: I noticed a lot of stigma surrounding mental illness my freshman year. I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder when I was in 5th grade, so pretty young. So I think I was more aware of (mental health prejudices) as I got older. It was something that I felt passionate about, because I don’t think it should be stigmatized at all. So many people are afflicted by mental illness or mental health issues in some capacity.

The Mental Health Advocacy Club planned Dog Days, promoting the positive effects that animals have on mental health. We invited a therapy dog organization and the local National Alliance for Mental Health chapter to come have tables at our event. There was a dog costume contest and people brought their dogs and could learn about the resources available. It was a fun way to integrate mental health with something that people enjoy, probably my favorite project that we’ve done.

Mental Health Message: Be mindful of your language. You don’t know what people are going through. Don’t judge people for behaviors you think are odd.

Remember Me As: Someone who stands up for others, tries to be kind and helps people when I can.

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