Katie Brazelton: Silverton’s Future First Citizen

February 2016 Posted in People
2015 Future First Citizen recipient Katie Brazelton. Submitted photo.

2015 Future First Citizen recipient Katie Brazelton. Submitted photo.

By Tanner Russ

Silverton’s Future First Citizen Katie Brazelton’s career at Silverton High School has kept her busy with activities including being a FFA, FBLA and 4-H member.

Silverton Principal Mark Hannan gave glowing reviews of Brazelton, adding she is extremely focused.

“She is wise and mature beyond her years,” Hannan said. “I think what impressed me most was her desire to return to Silverton to ‘pay back’ to the community that she feels was so good to her. I am very confident that Katelyn will make the people of Silverton proud to call her Future First Citizen.”

Brazelton’s activities include volunteering at the YMCA, Turtle Ride Wildlife Center, Stayton Thanksgiving Dinner, and the Zenith Women’s Bingo Night as well as leading a Large Animal Emergency Operations Procedure Project for Clatsop County. That project, which served as Brazelton’s senior project, was inspired by working with animals.

“My dad was a farrier, so I’ve always worked with veterinarians, I’ve always been a part of 4-H, done things with horses,” Brazelton said. “I was approached by the Clatsop County Emergency Management and Oregon Equestrian Trails to help with that project, and I ended up spearheading it. It all kind of derives from a want to learn more about animals and be able to help them.”

She has tackled all these projects with a goal of attending veterinary school. She was quick to credit her parents for their inspiration.

“My mom is educationally a source of inspiration for me. She’s a vice principal and has always been there to help me with my school work, my book work, and she’s where I get the smarts in that area,” Brazelton said. “But my dad has always taken me along with him when he’s out with horses, out with vets, he’s always shown me how to deal with animals, and animals are what I’m really passionate about. Both of them have helped to inspire me with what I want to do.”

Geralyn Sheets, Silverton High School’s nurse and Health Occupation teacher, said when Katie shows a desire to do more, people pay attention, They are willing to give someone with those qualities more opportunities.

“They want to help a teenager who wants to learn and succeed. Doors are opened and more opportunities present themselves,” Sheets said.

Brazelton plans to attend Oregon State University and pursue animal sciences.

“When I graduate (high school), I’ll have around 60 to 70 credits and be well into my sophomore year. That’s a crazy amount of opportunity, so taking all that I can throughout high school will really help me in the long run to not have as much debt, (and) to get through college quick,” Brazelton said.

The health occupation course at the high school has, in Sheets’ eyes, done good things for Brazelton.

“It has not been as much learning as reinforcing that she really wants to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. She has learned terminology and skills from the Health Occupations and Medical Terminology classes that will benefit her, but job shadowing in other areas of health care confirmed her career choice,” Sheets said.

For others who look to the future first citizens and first citizens as role models, Brazelton has a few words of advice.

“All you have to do is put yourself out there and make sure you make good connections with those who are older than you, your teachers or mentors in the community, like the veterinarians that I’ve shadowed with,” she said. “Ask questions. Some people don’t ask questions because they think it makes them seem dumb, but it honestly will make those who are more experienced teach you. If you put yourself out there, you can go as far as you want.”

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