Barrett Wagner sees a future for herself in business and creating the right marketing message for global markets.
The profession combines the "best of both worlds" for the 17-year-old McCracken County High School senior. She enjoys traveling and is interested in other cultures, relating them to international business, such as through marketing techniques.
"I would like to work in a global business in their marketing department, eventually hopefully working my way up," Wagner explained. "I like the idea of learning about different cultures and portraying it in business, so that way a company's message correlates abroad."
She considers herself a creative person and views marketing as the more artistic side of business. It can involve graphic design, coming up with advertisements and public relations packages.
"After high school, I want to attend Washington University in St. Louis and pursue a double major in Spanish and marketing with a minor in international business," she said. "So with college, I really want to get involved and travel abroad and take my learning experience to an international level."
Wagner, daughter to Robert Wagner of Paducah and Gail Hayes of Graves County, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Each Monday and Tuesday, The Sun publishes profile stories about area high school seniors chosen from a pool of nominees for Teen of the Week recognition. Around the end of school, one Teen of the Week student is selected as Teen of the Year and will receive a $5,000 scholarship. Another student will receive the Inspiration Award, which carries a $1,000 scholarship.
Wagner participates in many school extracurricular activities, while earning high academic marks. Her cumulative weighted GPA is above 4.2 and she received a 34 composite ACT score. She is also an AP Scholar with Distinction.
Wagner serves as a leader in several organizations.
She is student government vice president, Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica president, Future Business Leaders of America president and KYYMCA (Y-Club) chapter president. She's involved in National Honor Society, Beta Club, drama club, Young Democrats Society, varsity academic team, varsity track and field and other organizations.
She previously played for the Mustangs junior varsity soccer squad and remains in the soccer world by refereeing youth for McCracken County Youth Soccer Association.
"When I started soccer, it was all about having fun and getting to know kids from different schools and just enjoying the sport as a whole," she said. "As a referee, I usually referee the younger kids' levels because I know how to interact with the kids and, at that age, it's all about learning the game and having fun."
Wagner also spoke highly of the Governor's Scholars Program and Governor's School for Entrepreneurs. She participated in both programs during two different summers and it made a "huge impact" on her life.
"While the curriculum, of course, at both camps was fascinating, it's really the people there that makes the experience so great," she said. "It's a community of some of the best Kentuckians and the best friends. I still interact with both alumni from GSE and GSP on the daily, whenever I need support and they're just some of the most fantastic and kind people."
She described how the experiences bring together people from all parts of the state, such as western Kentucky, eastern Kentucky and metro areas in Louisville and Lexington.
"We all ended up at the same place, but we all had very different stories and paths that got us here," she concluded. "It was really insightful."
Senior year is a pivotal time and Wagner views it as the "culmination" of all the work from her previous three years. Instead of feeling sad about the last time for events, such as dances or competitions, Wagner wants to make those moments the best one ever.
"It's my year to just really enjoy my time with my friends, my peers and my teachers and enjoy the times that I've had with the organizations I've been a part of," she said.