When Kayci walked across the stage to accept her diploma with other Henderson Bay High School graduates, there were the usual loud cheers and happy tears, but for this graduate it was an extra special celebration. Kayci’s graduation day not only marked the rite of passage of completing high school, but it also celebrated her overcoming adversity and challenges that are paving the path to a brighter future.

During her high school years, Kayci faced many challenges, including bullying, bulimia, dependency and addiction issues. She remembers all the people who stuck by her and helped her become the best version of herself, including her family, friends, counselors, and staff at Henderson Bay High. Kayci is especially thankful for Sam Miller, Outreach Specialist for Comprehensive Life Resources, and Robin Malich, her site coordinator with Communities In Schools of Peninsula.

“They helped me find the resources that I needed and supported me every step of the way,” says Kayci.

Kayci’s site coordinator Robin is proud of her and can’t wait to see what amazing things she will do in the future.

“Kayci has a beautiful heart and has the gift of compassion for others,” says Robin. “Her struggles have strengthened her resolve to help others.”

Kayci at her graduation ceremony
Kayci at her graduation ceremony

At school and in the community, Kayci is well known for her generous spirit. She first started volunteering several years ago with the Tacoma Rescue Mission and the Rabbit Haven, and went on to volunteer in various roles at Henderson Bay High. She was the school’s Interact Club President and spearheaded many community outreach projects, including the Smile Box Project, Compassion Committee, and the annual Toy Drive for the Gig Harbor Fish Food Bank.

Now a proud graduate, Kayci is excited for the next chapter of her life, which includes attending Seattle Central College. Her dream is to work in the social service arena, helping others overcome challenges that she herself has experienced. In addition to her college plans, Kayci is also hoping to become a mentor in schools.

“I hope to bring positive messaging to others and help them realize that they have much to offer the world, and not to give up on themselves,” she says.

This story is provided courtesy of Communities In Schools of Peninsula. Learn more about this affiliate here.