Palmer Trinity School junior Kelly Blary wants to help fellow students stay positive. She is working on creating a club that will spread positivity across the campus. She was inspired to start the club by a guest speaker.
“He does a lot of work in Africa and so many kids were dying because of diseases,” Blary says. “He came up with a thing called Hope Soap. It made a difference because they were washing their hands. It reduced the death.”
That speaker impressed her with his caring for others.
“He just wanted to help others succeed in life,” she says. “How he presented it was so well done that I wanted to do more with my life. I didn’t want people to sit down and let people die. It started out with me wanting to help Africa.”
Blary says she realized there were already clubs at school with the same goal so she decided to turn her attention to the kids at school.
“That would be my goal to help people be positive and not negative,” she says. “To be a lot nicer to each other. It hurts people when you say negative things.”
Blary says simple acts of kindness can help – even little things like telling someone they look nice that day.
“I hope they would say nice things,” she says. “I want people to mean what they are doing.”
She hopes to have the club up and running by next year.
Currently, Blary is involved in what she calls a club of two members – volunteer sports trainer.
“I pretty much do what the athletic trainer needs,” she says. “I’m here Monday through Friday and even Saturday if there is a game. Even if there is not a game, I sit and watch and make sure nobody gets hurt during practice.”
If someone does get hurt, she and the other student trainer help the athletic trainer take the student out of the game. If someone has a sprained ankle, they’ll wrap the ankle under the supervision of the trainer.
“This is what I want to do, this is my need to give back to the community,” she says. “I’ve been hurt so many times. I’ve been there and I want to help with the process of recovery.”
Most of her injuries were a result of playing tennis.
“I have a very powerful serve,” she says. “I paid the price.”
That price was a hyper extended elbow. She broke a finger playing basketball and she’s had numerous foot injuries.
“A lot of people don’t think you get hurt (playing tennis) other than knees, but if you stick to it it’s quite demanding,” she says.
Blary plays on the Palmer team. She says the team is still growing and improving.
“When I got here as a freshman, I was the number one seed,” she says. “Slowly we are building it up.”
Outside the school, she plays at Coral Oaks and enters USTA tournaments. Even though she could try for a tennis scholarship, she says her priority in college is to get on the football team as a trainer, because that’s what she wants to do as a career.
Blary is also involved in the school club called Miami Helps Mais, a club that helps children in orphanages in Brazil.
She also volunteers at her tennis club as a referee.
“I help them in whatever they need me to do,” she says. “Or I help a kid out. I teach tennis. I help guide them through a match.”
By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld