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BRIGHT FUTURES — Nederland’s Kaitlyn Clark puts faith in the future, family

NEDERLAND —Nederland High School senior Kaitlyn Clark was born and raised in the Mid-County town where family, friends and the future take a front row seat.

Kaitlyn Clark

“I have lived in Nederland my whole life,” Clark said. “My dad grew up here, and I love Nederland because its sense of community. Growing up with a sister, this was the best place to be a child and have fun without worrying for our safety.”

Outside of Nederland, Clark’s favorite place to be is Crystal Beach with her family.

“This is a place where I can forget about all the worries at home and relax,” she said. “I come from a huge Cajun-French family who I love to spend time with.”

Family has always been a priority in Clark’s life, as well as her education.

“My parents always pushed me to be the best student I could be,” she said. “The slight fear of my mom if I made a bad grade always drove me to try harder. My sister was always top of her class and such a good role model to follow. She had a huge role in making me the person and student I am today.

“My family has always had high expectations for my sister and I when it comes to education. Personally, having good grades says a lot about a person. It not only shows intelligence but it also shows responsibility, drive and time-management skills.”

The 18-year-old holds a spot in the top 5 percent of her class, where she is ranked 13 for the Class of 2020.

“I have dreamed of wearing the gold honors sash since I was young and am very proud to have achieved my dream,” Clark said.

Academics and extra-curricular activities also play a large part in Clark’s high school career.

The Nederland native has been involved in student council for six years where she currently serves as vice president.

She is also president of the Nederland Westernaires Drill team, a member of the Taylor Dance Studio and a member of the Diocesan Youth Leadership team for her church’s youth group.

“I chose each of these groups because they have a mix of leadership, entertainment and my love for helping people,” Clark said. “I love being student body vice president and president of the Westernaires. Knowing that I am making an impact on other people’s lives and setting a good example for the younger classmen is very important to me.”

Clark’s favorite organization is Taylor Dance.

“I spend my time out of school at Taylor Dance Studio, where I have danced for 15 years,” she said. “Being able to go to the studio after a long day of school and express my love for dance with my friends is something I will forever cherish.”

Lori Guidry, an instructor at Taylor Dance, said Clark has always been a leader.

“Kaitlyn is an absolute beautiful soul inside and out,” Guidry said. “I have known her since she was 3 years old and have watched her grow into an amazing dancer and sweet young lady. She is such a hard worker and was so much fun to have in class. I have loved watching her grow into such a talented dancer. I will miss her so much as she moves to college.”

Clark’s favorite quote is: “It’s not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about dancing in the rain,” a motto she’s clung to especially hard the last several months.

“This quote has really helped me through this hard time by reminding me to make the best out of the situation,” she said. “Looking on the bright side is so important for everyone right now, and I want to spend it soaking up the short time I have left in Nederland.”

Clark’s time is winding down. In the fall, she will attend Texas A&M University in College Station to major in allied health while seeking a master’s in speech-language therapy.

When she moves off, Clark wants to be remembered in one word — friendly.

“I have always been a person who anyone can talk to no matter the circumstances,” she said. “I love making new friends and I feel a kind personality is more important than just a pretty face.”