Kennedy Rawls, a senior at Battle Ground Academy, makes no bones about her feelings when it comes to PTM students being labeled. She explains that she feels attaching labels such as “at-risk” to PTM students puts them in a box. “Statistics and stereotypes can make us feel like we have failed before we have a chance to succeed.” She feels strongly that being around people who don’t look like you is very humanizing and helps everyone not to stereotype.
Kennedy, who has been encouraged to go into law, has a strong sense of social justice, a wonderfully kind demeanor and a very bright smile.
Q: What are some words you would use to describe yourself?
A: Funny, positive, optimistic
Q: Who is someone you admire and why?
A: Mr. Jay (Jay Thompson, former PTM high school director). He is always encouraging. He keeps in touch even though he has moved away.
Q: If you could have lunch with anyone living or dead who would it be?
A: Michelle Obama. I would ask her, “How was law school?” “How do you stay graceful in the public eye when people are mean?” and “When are you going to run?”
Q: Kennedy, you have been at PTM since first grade! What is your first memory and your favorite memory?
A: My first memory is that people kept calling PTM a “club” so I kept thinking me and my brother were going to get to go and dance!
My favorite memory…there are lots. Barefoot camp. The time Mr. Chan swam out to save us when we got stranded out on the lake. He swam the whole way with no life jacket!
Problem solving rotation and playing with dolls.
Q: What are your plans post-high school?
A: I would love to go to Fisk. I am trying to decide on African-American studies, psychology or law.
Q: You were asked to be on the interview panel during the hiring process for PTM’s current high school director, Mr. Terrance, what did you learn from that experience?
A: PTM really cares and wants to find someone who cares about us.
Q: What are some qualities of a good friend?
A: Dependable, considerate, funny.
Q: When someone says your name what do you want them to think about?
A: Happiness and bright- like a bright light in the world.
Q: What do you hope life is like for you in ten years?
A: Married with one kid. Living in a different state or country. Having a job that pays good but not a 9-5 job…something else. I want to donate money to PTM. I for sure want to do that.