Senior has service, intelligence and barbecue in her veins
CLINTON, Ky. — Loni Grogan knows the rewards of hard work and putting in extra time and effort.
The Hickman County High School senior is reaping those rewards in the form of a 4.0 grade-point average, valedictorian status and a four-year varsity volleyball career.
Grogan is president of Beta Club and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). She’s also learned the ethic and grit instilled in young people who work.
Since the age of 7, Grogan has helped out at Grogan’s BBQ, a restaurant owned by her grandfather.
Unfortunately for Grogan’s palette, she knows that kind of work comes with side effects other than a sense of responsibility.
“I can’t stand barbecue now,” Grogan said. “My blood is made of barbecue.”
Culinary side effects notwithstanding, Grogan said the work has helped make her who she is today. And today she is Teen of the Week.
Grogan, daughter of Ricky and Valorie Grogan, is the Murray State University Teen of the Week. Each Monday, the Sun features a different MSU Teen of the Week selected from nominees submitted by high school guidance counselors throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois. In May, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners, earning a $5,000 scholarship to Murray State. Teen of the Week is part of the Sun’s Newspapers in Education program.
The Hickman County school staff isn’t surprised when Grogan goes above and beyond, inside or outside the classroom.
“She has taken our most challenging courses as well as taken two additional math courses and one additional science course which were not required,” said Amy Boaz, school counselor.
“Very few of our students take this route as a senior.”
Boaz also pointed out Grogan’s time devoted to mentoring at-risk elementary school students.
“She is an exceptional leader in our school,” Boaz said.
Grogan is also a leader unafraid to branch out. The Miss Hickman County of 2007 and Miss Hickman County High School in the same year is also an amateur archer.
“I actually enjoy it a lot,” Grogan said about archery, in which her dad got her started. “I was a lot better at it than I thought it would be.”
She participated in cheerleading for one year, and then switched from serving customers at the barbecue restaurant to serving Habitat for Humanity workers this past February.
“I like to push myself,” Grogan said. “I look around and I see people who have so much potential and they don’t always use it. I don’t want to be that person.”
It’s that initiative forming her career choice, for now. Grogan plans to attend Murray State University in the fall and study in the pre-med program.
“I really want to do something where I can help people,” Grogan said.
Contact Adam Shull, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8653.