Katherine Powell

Hometown: Chicago, IL

high school: Whitney M. Young HS

college: Princeton University

MAJOR: English / Comparative Literature

Katherine Powell was born in Chicago, IL, and raised there by her grandmother. As a child, she was very active, taking ballet classes and singing in her church choir. It was also during this period that Katherine discovered her love of reading literature and writing fiction. Katherine accredits her discovery of the wonderful world of books to her grandmother introducing her to novels and encouraging her to read.

Katherine was a distinguished student in elementary school, participating in Girl Scouts and winning awards for academic excellence. In sixth grade, her years of hard work paid off when she was accepted to Whitney M. Young’s Academic Center, an accelerated program for talented seventh and eighth graders. Her six years at Whitney M. Young have been immensely formative; Katherine has not only grown intellectually, but also as a person. She has been a violinist in the orchestra program for all six years, and recently performed at Carnegie Hall with the ensemble. Her time as a musician has greatly increased her appreciation and love for the arts. Katherine is also writing editor of her high school’s yearbook; she oversees the articles and captions in the book, and tries to ensure an inclusive and comprehensive book that all students can enjoy after their time at Whitney M. Young.            

Besides orchestra and yearbook, Katherine is also a dancer at school and member of a dance ensemble at Gallery 37 in downtown Chicago. She is an executive board member of National Honor Society, in which she volunteers around the school and city; and Best Buddies, which fosters friendships between regular and special education students. Through all of her extracurricular activities, Katherine seeks to spread positivity and develop lasting friendships. A decidedly extroverted person, she values her interactions with other driven, inspiring teens, and has grown as a person by being involved with these organizations.   

During the summer of 2015, Katherine participated in Princeton Summer Journalism Program, a 10-day journalism seminar for low-income, high-achieving high schoolers. The experience was amazingly transformative. The program exposed Katherine to many media, and unearthed her passion for journalism. Because of the eye-opening experience of SJP, Katherine plans to become a journalist herself. One of the most important things she learned from the program was that people's’ stories are important, and need to be told; in order to enact change in the world, we have to discover the issues, discuss ethical solutions, and mobilize to shift things in the right direction. Katherine wants to be the journalist that tells necessary stories, and help cultivate empathy for people from different walks of life. It was also due to SJP that Katherine fell in love with Princeton and applied; she was accepted, and will be attending in the fall, where she hopes to major in English. Katherine looks forward to bringing her cultural and academic experience to Princeton, in the hopes of creating a more inclusive environment and utilizing her education to write things that will change the world.

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