Saint Francis Xavier Eighth Grader Accumulates Over 200 Hours of Community Service

Katelyn Cowan is an eighth grade student at St. Francis Xavier. She devotes much of her time to volunteering and fundraising for Alzheimer’s research and awareness, a disease her grandfather passed away from. Since beginning her volunteer journey just two years ago, Katelyn has logged over 200 hours of service. Starting a mother/ daughter team, Katelyn and her mother Kim have joined the National Charity League. She’s a competitive tennis player and is passionate about animals. Katelyn works with Mobile Minis, an organization that rescues and rehabilitates miniature horses into service animals.

Q. You’ve put in a great amount of time and effort into raising money for Alzheimer’s research and awareness. Tell me about your successful “Longest Day” event. What kept you motivated to achieve over $1000 raised in one day?

A. I was able to stay motivated all the way to the end of the Longest Day Event just because of the amount people and their families who helped and supported me. It was 119 degrees and the more people said I should post pone the more I wanted to do it.

Q. Accumulating over 200 hours of service in just two years of volunteering is pretty impressive! What drives you to give so much of your time to others?

A. There are so many things that inspire me to do service. One being is that there are so many people who are less fortunate than I and I’ve always put others before myself, it’s just always how I felt.

Q. Working with Mobile Minis must be wildly fun. What type of service do they provide? How did you become involved with them?

A. When I work at “Mobile Minis” I take care of the horses and groom them. They work as therapy horses and I have such a great time working with them. I also take the mini horses at assisted living and hospice homes where we visited the elderly; they would always bring a smile to their faces. When I found mobile minis I was looking for good animal shelters to volunteer at and knew this was perfect since it helped both people and animals.

Q. What is being on a mother/ daughter team with the National Charity League like? Has it had an impact on your relationship with your mom?

A. Being in NCL (National Charity League) has affected who I am also my relationship with my mom because we are able to spend a lot more time together. We volunteer at many different organizations so there are always new experiences. This year we are in charge of the program called adopt a street, this means my mother and I are hosting an actual NCL event. During adopt street mothers and daughters clean the road this may not sound like much fun, but we all make it fun while we laugh and bond the entire time.

Q. How long ago did you decide to become a vegetarian? What factored into your decision to make that change?

A. I have been vegetarian for around six months. Everyone who knows I am vegetarian says “I could never do that”, being honest it was extremely easy for me. I use to be a huge meat lover, but I started learning more about what they do to the animals. My whole life I have had a strong connection to all animals and I found out that the animals aren’t treated well at all so I stopped eating meat. The animals go through pain we cannot even imagine. I saw a story about a cow being unloaded and they had proof that the cow was being abused by the guy. She could not even get up, because he was kicking her and broke all her ribs and legs, it got worse from there. I believe animals are creatures of God and should not go through that.

Q. What are your tennis career goals? What does your weekly training schedule look like?

A. I would like to join Xavier’s varsity tennis team and become the best I can be. I’m also hoping to get a college scholarship. My weekly schedule is I have clinic Monday-Thursday and lessons on Sundays. When I am in a tournament it starts on Friday or Saturday and will go for a couple of days depending on how well I am playing.

Q. Who is your favorite tennis player of all time?

A. My favorite tennis player is Serena Williams. Most people when they think famous tennis player they think Serena Williams. This makes me extremely happy, because she is a girl; her strokes are amazing and her work ethic.

Q. Balancing your schedule of school, tennis & volunteer work must be tough. When you do get a moment of free time, what do you like to do?

A. Balancing school, tennis, and volunteer work can be difficult at times. When I get free time I like to spend time with my family and friends. I have amazing friends and it’s so much fun to be around them.

Katelyn Cowan is an eighth grader at St. Francis Xavier.

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