There are many high achievers in Clay County schools today. Kelsey Scroggins is one of them. The Northview High School Junior was chosen to attend the National Student Leadership Conference in Washington D. C. in August.
To qualify for the 11-day event, a student had to be nominated by a teacher or counselor and meet requirements for GPA and extra curricular activities.
The daughter of Rev. Gary and Sandra Scroggins, Kelsey has a GPA of 3.985. She's played defense on the Northview varsity soccer team for the past two years.
Last year, after her first year in track, Kelsey was the team's top point scorer, participating in the 4x100 meter relay, the 300 and 100 meter hurdles and the long jump.
Kelsey also works part time at the Dreams Come True Stables on north Lena Road and she''s volunteered occasionally for the Little Creek Special Equestrians and the St. Mary's therapeutic riding program.
After high school Kelsey hopes to attend a college either on the east coast or in Chicago to study environmental sciences and anthropology.
The 17-year-old Scroggins raised most of the $1,700 needed for the conference by soliciting donations from family, friends, businesses and organizations.
One of 180 students to participate in the leadership conference, Kelsey was involved with the International Diplomacy sector. Lectures she heard by Dr. Paul Lisnek and Sondra Dunn included "Effective Decision Making, "Conflict Resolution", "Power in International Relations", "International Law and Diplomacy" and "Ethics in International Diplomacy".
Kelsey thought the most significant part of the conference for her was the knowledge she gained from the mock UN Security Council.
"There were 10 possible council topics ranging from the civil conflicts in Israel to the drug trade in Columbia," Kelsey explained. "My topic was the African food crisis. I represented Germany and was to work with the 14 other members of my security council to create resolutions for this crisis. We had to write and present opening speeches explaining our countries' stance on this subject and what it was willing to contribute as aid. We then drafted our resolutions and proceeded to vote on them.
"Our specific topic wasn't as frantic as some of the others," Kelsey continued. "No one was willing to fight or go to war over the African food crisis, but it was still very important. We had to determine whether we should help with money, food, AIDs programs or education for teachers or for farmers.
Kelsey said they had a big debate over genetically mutated organisms, scientifically produced seeds that produce more but cost more.
"We knew we'd have to wean them off of the program eventually because they couldn't support the cost and we couldn't afford to continue it forever."
When asked how she felt, initially, about being accepted in the Leadership conference and being a part of it, Kelsey answered very humbly.
"I felt honored and special to be chosen," she responded. "But once I got there, I felt rather stupid, just being around so many incredibly smart people. I had situational feelings of inferiority. But after a while, I started feeling better about myself.
"Once we got to the mock UN Security Council, feelings of inferiority began dissipating because I was pretty successful to defend my country and its position. And I was able to mediate between countries of higher power when they were at each other's throats. The experience was very educational and an effective way to demonstrate how countries interact with each other in both friendly and unfriendly ways.
"I learned so much from the experience that it is almost overwhelming," Kelsey said. "Not only did I acquire a newfound respect for the complexity and importance of international relations, but I also came to understand much about the interactions and relationships between people."
This high achieving, highly motivated young lady said that after she completes her education, she hopes to work overseas to help third world countries with environmental issues.