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North Kansas City Student Earns Attention with Healthy Program

Caitlynn Bohanon brings an impressive range of skills to her work, especially when you learn she’s in school.

A junior at North Kansas City High School, Bohanon this year launched Hornet Pride, a school group that visits elementary and middle schools to help boost school spirit and healthy lifestyles.

The work began last spring when she began organizing 34 other students to visit Briarcliff Elementary and Northgate Middle School for informal meetings with the younger students. This fall, the team visited almost weekly, getting to know students and talking about what they could expect in high school.

“The idea is to promote school spirit and a healthy lifestyle for future (North Kansas City High School) Hornets,” she explained. “We have fun, but we also communicate some things that are serious.”

Her philosophy is simple. “I’m a really strong believer in every student reaching their full potential and doing it without substance abuse,” she explained. “It’s something I really believe in.”

Bohanon patterned her program after one at Clardy Elementary where her mother teaches. “I heard about that and really liked the idea,” she said. “I thought, ‘We should do that, too.’”

The effort recently drew the attention of Kansas City’s Fox 4 News and anchor Phil Witt. The station is profiling Bohanon for a “Reaching 4 Excellence” young achiever report that will run Wednesday, Dec. 28 in Fox 4’s 9 p.m. newscast. It will run again Thursday, Dec. 29 in the 8 a.m. and Noon newscasts, and then will likely air on other newscasts that week. Later, the program will be available on the Fox 4’s website, http://fox4kc.com/category/news/education/.

A natural leader, Bohanon is active in her school choir, student council, the National Honor Society and dance. She also contacted the Northland Coalition group, Teaching and Reaching Youth, which put her in contact with Tri-County Mental Health Services Prevention Services Manager Vicky Ward. Ward nominated her for the Fox 4 program.

Bohanon is no stranger to extra effort. She and her parents, Kezia and Frank Bohanon, and her three siblings live in the Oak Park High School area. She transferred to North Kansas City in order to pursue an International Baccalaureate degree in reproductive endocrinology. Her long-range plans are to study medicine, though she’s keeping her options open.

“I’m not rushing it,” she laughed. “It’s scary to me.”

Article courtesy Dale Garrison of DGInform.com.

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