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BRIGHT FUTURES — PNG’s Raegan Hudspeth sets sights on medical field, education opportunities

PORT NECHES — “There are dreamers and there are achievers, but the difference between the two is action.”

Port Neches-Groves senior Raegan Hudspeth lives by a quote she pulled out of a fortune cookie, setting her thoughts to a plan and turning her dreams into action.

“You can go out and dream and know what you want to do or you can go out and achieve it,” Hudspeth said. “That’s something I like to live by, to be able to say ‘I did it.’”

At 18, Hudspeth has a plan in motion for the future — to make a difference through education and nursing. The Port Neches native is a peer tutor and future nurse esthetician.

Port Neches-Groves senior Raegan Hudspeth helps Elijah Martinez, left, and Evan Joseph, right, from Amber Bell’s first grade class during a small group project Monday at Woodcrest Elementary. (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)

“With nursing, and same with teaching, you have such an impact on somebody’s life,” she said. “No matter how big or how small, that has always been a calling to me. It’s just something that I love to do.

“I want to major in nursing and minor in education so, hopefully, I can have the best of both worlds.”

Hudspeth, although the youngest of three, said her love for kids started at an earlier age growing as her family did.

“I’ve spent a lot of time with my nephew, Cohen, since he was born,” she said. “I also babysit on the weekends. I love working with kids and I want to put myself out there. I knew when I got to be a senior that I wanted to be a peer tutor and be with kids as much as possible. That is something that is just close to my heart and, hopefully, one day that will become a career for me.”

The Port Neches-Groves High School peer tutor program pairs students interested in an educational career with a teacher in the district.

Hudspeth was selected to Amber Bell’s first grade class at Woodcrest Elementary and a life skills class at Groves Elementary.

“The peer tutor program is really tough to get into, so it’s quite an honor to be selected,” she said. “Especially for me, I have two courses so I love being able to impact more than one class.”

Port Neches-Groves senior Raegan Hudspeth reads a book to Amber Bell’s first grade class Monday at Woodcrest Elementary. (Cassandra Jenkins/The News)

Hudspeth helps each classroom in a variety of ways, grading papers, making up absent work, reading to students and running small groups. She attends Bell’s class every other day starting on Mondays.

Bell described Hudspeth as “a godsend.”

“[Hudspeth] is amazing at helping me,” Bell said. “The kids absolutely love going out and hanging with Raegan. They absolutely adore her. She’s a role model to them and it comes very natural. I don’t have to teach her how to help these kids. She just knows what to do. She is gifted in knowing how to work with these kids and either career she chooses she will be amazing at.”

Hudspeth said she will attend Lamar University next fall, but is thankful to the PNG district for helping her make those decisions concrete and early in her career.

“I want to make sure that I am ready for college,” she said. “Being in these programs has really helped me decide that I want to be a teacher and a nurse. I am very grateful that PNG has these programs to offer. I also want to be able to help the community, so this is such a great thing and an amazing way to do both.”