Teen of the Week Hannah Lovett blazed a path from new student as a freshman to successful leader as a senior.
The Calloway County senior, who is described as the whole package by her teachers, knew right away as she stepped into the school's hallway for her first day she had found a home away from home.
"I walked in and before I could be nervous about the big, new school, everyone just made me feel at home," she said.
Lovett, daughter of Tony and Sarah Lovett, is the Mid-Continent University Teen of the Week. Each Monday, the Sun features a different teen selected from nominees submitted to the Sun by guidance counselors throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois. Mid-Continent University will provide each Teen of the Week with a $2,500 annual scholarship to its university, which is renewable for four years.
In the spring, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners. The Teen of the Year is eligible for a full four-year scholarship to Mid-Continent or a cash award of $2,500, paid through the Paducah Sun, if the student selects another college.
The self-described outgoing, organized student is currently the president of the Beta Club and the Spanish Club, where she helped to increase the number of students who participate in the group from 30 to 60 over the last year. She said the leadership in both clubs taught her a lot about connecting with people through different and unique subject areas.
"We worked hard to get new members, keep the people we already had and to make everyone feel included in the club through the language and culture," she said.
She is a member of the Future Business Leaders of America Club, Lakers for Christ and Pep Club. The busy senior will also have her name in the school record books as the first female editor of the Yearbook and newspaper. Lovett said she was able to translate her interest in sports into a passion for writing and photography.
"Sports is something I know a lot about so I just wanted to step up and do it," she said. "When it's something you like to do, it's easy to write about."
She has participated in school athletics, including varsity softball and power puff football. Lovett played T-ball growing up and has served as captain for two years on the varsity team. She was the recipient of the academic award and most improved recognition in the sport and the team was the district runner-up in two of her four years.
Lovett also stays busy with a part-time custodial job and devoting much of her free time to community service through Hardin Baptist Church. She lists her favorite activities as Monday Missions, where members of the church spend time in community centers, and Wednesday Night Worship, which includes playing games with younger children in the church.
"Someone is always in need of a hand and I think why not give them one," she said. "Sometimes the key is just showing someone some love."
She traveled with her church to Nicaragua last summer to do mission work and plans to return this summer. Her group taught students and helped to build a computer lab in a school that didn't have electricity several years ago. The world traveler also went with a group of 25 students to Japan as part of a student exchange last year.
The 3.92 grade-point average student lists her favorite classes as mathematics and Spanish. She has taken 18 hours of college-level Spanish courses through the Racer Academy at Murray State University. She has been named to the high honor roll for three consecutive years and received the outstanding student awards in her Spanish and health classes.
"I always wanted to learn Spanish because it's something I can use to talk to people in their language across the world," she said.
She plans to attend Murray State University next year and double major in nursing and Spanish. Lovett hopes to pursue a career as a bilingual nurse practitioner either in the school or follow her mother's footsteps and work in a hospital setting. Her future plans include mission work over breaks with international service organizations.
"I'm excited because I feel at home on campus because I have taken classes there," she said. "I'm ready to take the leap and jump out on my own."