To say that Kaitlyn Shelton is a well-rounded student and citizen is a bit of an understatement. The Westminster Christian School senior is an academic scholar, orchestra member, swimmer, passionate volunteer and leader.
When Shelton graduates this year, she will have completed nine AP classes. To help prepare her for a future in medicine, she doubled up on science classes in her junior year and math classes during her senior year. She has applied to 13 schools and so far has been accepted by 11, including Florida State University, the University of Miami, University of Central Florida, Stetson, Florida Gulf Coast and the University of North Florida.
“I like to push myself and be challenged academically,” Shelton said. “I am able to handle a busy schedule and be successful, thanks in part to wonderful teachers who have helped guide and inspire me.”
Shelton has attended Westminster since she was three years old. She joined the orchestra when she was in the fourth grade, discovered she loved it and has been passionately playing the violin ever since.
In sixth grade, Shelton began swimming competitively. She swims for the AquaKids Sharks team as well as the Westminster Warriors swim team, both coached by Lou Manganiello. She’s lettered in her sport all four years and this year serves as varsity team captain.
“I enjoy the practices and the special bond that I’ve formed with my teammates,” said Shelton.
She has earned more than 300 community service hours and is still counting. As the community service coordinator for National Honor Society at Westminster, she coordinates various community service projects for the club’s 80 members. The group has assisted the Westminster staff with the school’s annual showcases, which inform perspective parents and students about the school. She and her classmates have volunteered for Habitat for Humanity to help build homes for families in need, served meals to the homeless at Camillus House and assisted at the Special Olympics.
Shelton has teamed up with National Honor Society members on an especially heartwarming project.
“We have made more than 100 baby blankets and presented them to families at Caring for Miami, Homestead Women’s Center,” she said.
During the past three summers, Shelton has volunteered as a swim coach at AquaKids Sharks Summer Camp, held at the Westminster pool. She helped teach children pool safety, proper stroke techniques and how to swim.
Last summer, Shelton began volunteering with Child Life Specialists at Miami Children’s Hospital and continues to visit young patients each weekend.
“I visit and entertain children who have undergone chemotherapy, surgery and other medical procedures,” she said. “These visits make the children happy and give the parents a small break.”
As is evident in her volunteer efforts, Shelton is passionate about helping people. She plans to apply her skills and compassion to a career in healthcare.
“My dream is to continue to serve my community by volunteering,” she said. “I want to become a registered nurse initially, and then earn a master’s degree to become a physician’s assistant so I can also serve people in my job.”