By Mary Owen
Two high school students with an appreciation for their families, schools and communities are eager to continue volunteering after high school when they attend college. For all they have done to help others, Stayton High School senior Kalie Harper and Regis High School senior Aidan Tabor were chosen as the 2016 Future First Citizens by the Stayton Rotary Club.
Stayton High School senior Kalie Harper is a dynamo when it comes to student involvement and life in general.
“My family is a very active family,” Harper said of her parents, Brian and Angie, and younger brother, Brenden. “I couldn’t be more grateful for the adventures and laughter we have shared.”
Harper has been privileged to travel throughout the United States and Central America, she adds.
“The trips we have taken as a family have influenced me in my career choice and goals,” she said.
“I have been able to experience and see many different cultures and ways of life,” Harper said. “Between mission trips to Mexico and going scuba diving in Belize, I have attained a love for traveling and experiencing new things.”
Her high school accolades include being this year’s Associate Student Body president, but she lends her talents and energy to her school in many ways, including helping with prom, the homecoming parade, hall decorations, spirit barbecue and canned food drive.
“Each of these activities has given me the opportunity to work with the community and my peers to help better our school,” added Harper, a member of the National Honors Society, Future Business Leaders of America, Link Crew and Pride Team. She also played volleyball all four years at SHS, three years as a varsity player earning her Most Valuable Defensive Player, Second Team All-League. She also was a team captain, and participates in school and club volleyball year-round.
“I have played on three travel teams, and have been giving the opportunity to meet amazing coaches and players from all over the state,” said Harper, who maintains a 4.0 GPA while taking all honors and AP classes.
Harper has attended Foothills Church and youth group since 2006, serving on the children’s ministries team and participating in three mission trips to Papalote, Mexico.
“I have served with a team to build houses, schools, pick up trash, and build relationships with the community members, and I have also been given the opportunity to go on another mission trip to Peru this summer,” she said.
“Stayton High School has been a wonderful opportunity for me,” she said. “In these last four years I have grown in so many ways. The leadership skills I have learned will be ones I take with me forever. I have learned the importance of communication, delegating, and the role of a servant leader.”
Harper said the skills have been life-changing, impacting the way she views and solves problems.
She plans to attend the Grand Canyon University to study business marketing with a minor in psychology. GCU, located in Phoenix, offers many internship and job opportunities, she added.
“I would like to pursue a career in marketing and event planning,” Harper said. “My end goal someday is to work for a major nonprofit company planning its outreach events and being in charge of advertising.”
Harper is grateful to have been chosen to represent SHS as its Future First.
“Receiving this award is such an honor,” she said. “I feel so blessed to have grown up in this community and to have received the love and support from those around me.”
Regis High School’s Future First Citizen is Aidan Tabor, the second youngest of five children in the Tabor family.
“I have lived in Stayton my whole life,” Tabor said. “I really enjoy spending my time reading, listening to music, and riding my bicycle.”
During school, he has many duties as the ASB president, and he works with the administrators and the student council to put on events for the school.
After school, Tabor spends his time being involved with the school’s theater program, rehearsing and acting for shows.
“I also put a lot of my effort into helping others,” he said.
“Whether it’s helping the Friends of the Library with their store or book sales or putting on service projects of my own through my local church, I really enjoy helping others.”
Tabor said Regis helped him see what he wants in life and what is important to his future.
“My teachers have taught me not only academically, but also helped guide my classmates and I in our lives,” he said.
“They have given valuable information about what’s important in life and what experiences will help benefit us the most.”
Tabor plans to attend the University of Oregon in the fall.
“And to work on getting more involved with helping those in need and being more diversified and knowledgeable with different cultures,” he said.
“Receiving this award means a lot to me because I really have the passion to serve others in my heart, and having that work recognized is a huge impetus for what I can do to help other people in the future.”