All of us have endured changes in life at the hands of COVID-19 but few have been impacted more than Kelsey Haste who contracted the virus in her senior year of high school.
“Every member of her family has had it as well,” said Pam Cate, a counselor at Pulaski County High School. “She’s been through multiple quarantines, so she’s been going between virtual and in-person classes, but she rises to the challenge.”
Every year she has students who somehow manage to set themselves apart, and Kelsey is certainly one of them.
“She is a first-generation college-bound student. Neither of her parents graduated from college, and while they’ve done very well, she’s very driven by that.”
Kelsey has already passed five AP classes, meaning she’ll enter college as a second-semester freshman in the fall.
Her goal is to pursue a career in pediatric dentistry in honor of her brother, Kaden, who was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate.
“She wants to come back to Appalachia to help the children in this region. She’s already been on the phone with her advisors, she plans to graduate in three-and-a-half years. She’s got it all laid out so she can go straight into dental school, and she wants to do it all debt-free and she’s already close to doing that.”
It’s a tall order, but Cate feels confident if anyone can do it, it’s Kelsey.
“There’s no doubt in my mind, she’s going to be successful. As I said, she’s had her four-year plan laid out for a while now, so she knows exactly how she wants it all to go.”