A Chapel Hill High School senior is the sixth and final recipient of this year's American State Bank Academic Excellence Award.
Kristen Kavli, who is bound for Texas A&M University at Commerce, has a 4.0 GPA, is active in extracurricular activities and involved in the community, according to a bank news release.
Her activities included Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Crime Stoppers president, Student Senate president, National Honor Society treasurer and yearbook editor.
An active member of the Bethel Baptist Church youth group, Miss Kavli serves others through mission projects including Church Under a Bridge, which ministers to homeless people, according to the news release. She wants to work in international missions someday.
In addition, she participated in Shoes for Kids for four years. The project has raised thousands of dollars to buy shoes and socks for underprivileged students in the Chapel Hill school district.
In addition to her service, Miss Kavli has a great love for photography and throughout high school has managed her own clientele.
She worked weekends taking pictures at special events such as weddings, engagements, birthday parties and family photo sittings.
Her photography income supported her financial needs throughout school, and she plans to pursue a bachelor's degree in photography. Her goal is to pursue a career in sports photography.
Her high school counselor, Ruby Richardson, who nominated her for this award, said she is amazed by Miss Kavli's strength and determination, according to the news release.
"She has endured more hardship than any girl her age should ever have to," Mrs. Richardson said, according to the news release. "Yet, she strives not only to take care of herself, but others as well. It is because of her internal motivation and faith that her dream of being the first from her family to graduate college is now coming true."
Tim Haugh with American State Bank said Miss Kavli is a sweet young woman who deserves this award for her hard work.
"After listening to all the comments about her from her teachers and peers at the Senior Awards Program at Chapel Hill, I am honored and proud to be able to present Kristen with the American State Bank Academic Excellence Award," said Haugh, the bank's general manager of consumer finance, according to the news release. "She hasn't let anything stand in the way of her dreams. And her passion for helping others in need is second to none. She makes our community a better place to live."
American State Bank will have a banquet to honor all six Academic Excellence Award recipients on June 20 at Hollytree Country Club in Tyler.
One of the six finalists will receive a $10,000 scholarship to the college or university of their choice.
The six finalists are: Jared Raabe, Whitehouse High School (Texas A&M University); Meredith Daly, Bullard High School (University of Texas at Austin); Ashton Terry, Grace Community School (Accepted to UT Austin); Nicholas Cool, The Brook Hill School (UT Austin); Trenton McCallie, Brownsboro High School (Texas A&M); and Kristen Kavli, Chapel Hill High School (Texas A&M at Commerce).