You may remember Natalie for her work in Quitman School District’s gyms. She has been playing basketball since she was five years old, and the QUE court is where she began as a starter on the inaugural 2018 Panther Volleyball team. How was beginning a new sport when she was a senior in high school?
“I always loved basketball. I played for the city league when I was little. The first volleyball team was great. I loved volleyball. It was something new. I had a different set of teammates who I had to learn from.”
Natalie came to school to learn, and she hopes she will be remembered as a, “Go-getter.”
“I already have a scholarship at MCC, but I can go straight into the physical therapy program at William Carey. I am definitely going to be a physical therapist. My friend TavyAnna always pushed me when we were growing up. After she passed and I started Health Science (classes at the Clarke County Career Tech Center), my mom said, ‘Did you know TavyAnna wanted to be a physical therapist?’ I didn’t know that. Tavy’s mom told my mom, and that’s when I knew I was going to be a physical therapist.”
Natalie’s fellow HOSA members at district competition understand how serious she is about her career choice. She placed first and will soon be headed to the state competition.
“I go to state (competition) in Jackson March 27th through the 29th. If I place in the Top 3, I’ll go to nationals. I practice with Mrs. Owens on Thursdays, and I have a journal that’s packed with all my physical therapy stuff.”
Natalie is also able to utilize clinical hours in the school’s Health Science program at H.C. Watkins Memorial Hospital. There she works with physical therapists and their assistants in a job shadowing program established between Rush Health Systems and Clarke County Career Tech Center.
Mrs. Owen says of her Health Science II student, “Natalie has pursued so much of this physical therapy study on her own. We have provided a basis for her learning, but she is passionate and has done a large amount of independent work. I’m very proud of her.”
Mrs. Owen is not the only one proud of Natalie. The QHS senior is surrounded by her grandmother, mother, and sister who are also providing her with answers to questions and giving support when it’s needed, and Natalie is excited about a new addition to the family. Her sister had a baby boy.
“I kind of want to go to Meridian because I want to stay around here for him. I don’t want him to get in with the wrong crowd. I want to watch out for him.”
Natalie will hopefully have plenty of time and be in a place where she can watch out for her nephew once she becomes a physical therapist. Until then she’s hoping he and anyone else will listen when she advises, “Do what’s right.”