A look at the Hickman County High School senior’s list of awards and achievements shows her involvement in everything from mentoring younger students to volunteering at Civil War Days in Columbus-Belmont State Park.
Blalock said she stays involved because it puts her in touch with people she wouldn’t otherwise meet.
“I like to meet new people and carry on conversations that are not your ordinary conversations,” Blalock said.
Amanda Blalock, daughter of Tim and Jennifer Blalock, 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.
Blalock said she’s most active in her role as president of her school’s science club. She recently organized a trip to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, where she and other science club members made blankets for the patients.
“We (in the club) normally take a trip to St. Jude anyway, but we didn’t want to just take a tour. We wanted to actually do something,” Blalock said.
The motivation behind Blalock’s community service is simple. She enjoys knowing that she’s bettered people’s lives.
“I like to make a difference and help,” she said. The results of Blalock’s efforts can be seen around Clinton. She’s part of a youth leadership group funded by the local chamber of commerce, and said some of the ideas they’ve come up with — like the annual Plant the Town project — have been implemented.
Blalock doesn’t slack off in the realm of academics, either. Not only has she maintained straight A’s through her school career; she also takes college-level courses online through the Falcon Academy at her school. She prefers scientific and mathematical subjects, and hopes to pursue a career as an optometrist after earning a degree at Western Kentucky University.
“I’m very hard on myself,” Blalock said in reference to her schoolwork. She’s been part of the academic team since fourth grade, and recalled how she and her older cousins would spend most summers playing “school.”
“To do the more challenging stuff really excited me,” she said. “My family, they push me to do the best that I can.”
Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641 or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.