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Union High School senior, cheerleader awarded prestigious scholarship

Photo of{ }Keirsten Metcalf provided by{ }Keirsten Metcalf.
Photo of Keirsten Metcalf provided by Keirsten Metcalf.
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Despite all the challenges COVID has thrown her way, a cheerleader at Union High School is one of only 10 students across the country to receive a prestigious scholarship.

The senior is also earning a college degree before she even graduates high school.

From the football field to church, and even the classroom, Keirsten Metcalf is conquering it all.

"I'm a very lazy person by nature," she laughed. "I procrastinate a lot."

But if you don't know her well, you might not be able to tell.

The National Society of High School Scholars is awarding her a student-athlete scholarship. Out of more than 400 applicants, Keirsten was one of 10 students selected to receive $2,000 for college.

"Initially, I was in shock," she said. "But then I realized this is a blessing and an amazing opportunity."

Not only that, she almost has a college degree. Keirsten is part of the EDGE Program at Union, which lets students earn an associate's degree while still in high school.

Her family is the driving force behind her going for that degree.

"Because I'm getting those 60 credit hours out of the way, I'm also helping alleviate some of the stress that goes with the financial burden, while also pushing myself to do more things," she said.

Like learning from home and adjusting to a new normal.

"I mean, we went into lockdown and we were isolated from our family members, and even now, coming back, there's still not as much normalcy as we're used to," Keirsten said.

Even cheering has changed.

"Cheerleading is a team sport and we're constantly together and we had to sanitize and over-sanitize, and sometimes go weeks without practicing because of exposures," she said.

But Keirsten says her faith gave her a fresh perspective.

"Even though things may happen, I still need to be good to people and try to spread as much positivity as I can into the world," she said.

That mission was so successful that Battle Creek Church honored her with its first ever Ms. Impact Award for varsity cheer.

Keirsten has no plans to slow down anytime soon.

"I've worked so hard, so it would only make sense for me to go harder," she said. "There's no time to quit now."

She plans to continue serving others once she graduates.

Keirsten said she wants to transfer to The University of Oklahoma, where she'll major in nursing for a year, before transferring to the Health Sciences Center to continue her education.

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