While many of her peers count on their parents to help them, the Paducah Tilghman High School senior said she’s always relied on herself for motivation.
“I’m just harder on myself than anyone (else) could ever be, and so I just push myself to be better,” Wilson said.
Even in elementary school, she added, her mother rarely had to assist her with homework.
Wilson believes her natural independence has helped her transition into adulthood.
She works about 10 hours a week during the school year as a cashier and server at Cold Stone Creamery, and also babysits on weekends and vacations.
“I like being able to have my own money and manage that, and pay for my own stuff,” she said. “I think my motto would be, ‘Hard work gets you everywhere,’ because I haven’t had things just handed to me.”
Susannah Wilson, daughter of Jackie and Will Wilson, is the Mid-Continent University Teen of the Week.
Each Monday, the Sun features a different MCU Teen of the Week selected from nominees whom guidance counselors throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois submit to the Sun. 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 University or a cash award of $2,500, paid through the Paducah Sun, if the student selects another college to attend.
Wilson’s hard work pays off in soccer, where she pushes herself to be a better athlete.
The student said she’s not naturally athletic, but likes the sport so much that she’s willing to put in the effort to improve. Two awards for Most Improved Player reflect her dedication.
And the same goes for Wilson’s other activities. Although she considers herself shy, Wilson said she’s involved in extracurricular activities like the mock trial program, where she takes on the role of an attorney.
“It takes a lot of courage to be in front of judges and everybody in the room. But it’s very rewarding and a good experience. It’s taught me a lot,” she said.
Wilson, who also works as the business manager for the Tilghman Bell and is a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, and student council, admits that she grows bored if she’s not occupied.
“I like being busy. ... It’s like I have to be engulfed in something,” she said.
Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641 or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.