With a 4.4 GPA, Kilpatrick will be graduating at the top of her class. She says this journey was somewhat of a challenge for her since there is a lot of peer pressure. However, she didn’t let it stop her pursuit of academic success. “If I would have fell into the cracks and did what everyone else did, that wouldn’t make me the person that I am today,” Kilpatrick said. ” I wouldn’t be myself. I would be a product of my environment.”
Along with being her schools valedictorian and senior class vice president, she received the Richmond Public Schools award for scholar athlete in the month of February. Kilpatrick also received the Ronald Reagan award, because of her consistent community service with over 200 hours. She spends her time volunteering as an ambassador for the National Society for High School Scholars, Future Business Leaders of America, Health Occupations Students of America, and the National Honor Society.
In addition to her academic achievements, Kilpatrick is the captain of her school’s cheerleading squad. She also participates in her church, St. Paul’s Baptist, service activities that include Kisura, youth leadership council, JOY dance team, the step team and DA HYPE choir.
Kilpatrick plans on attending James Madison University in the fall, while majoring in criminal justice. After completing her time at JMU, she plans on going to law school, aspiring to become a criminal lawyer.
From an early age, Kilpatrick grew up with a sense of how the justice system worked. Her father was incarcerated when she was a baby up until the age of eight, so most of her interactions with him were through jailed visits. She says her dad was imprisoned falsely, and her becoming a lawyer could possibly help others out of that same situation. “I want to speak up for people who actually didn’t do anything and give them a voice,” Kilpatrick said.
Continuing her community service efforts well into adulthood, Kilpatrick would like to run her own nonprofit for girls who have fathers in the prison system. She plans on using it as a way to help girls view themselves in a positive light and learn their self-worth as young women with absent fathers. “I would have appreciated if there was a program like this for me,” Kilpatrick said. “A lot of girls are misread because of their circumstances with their fathers.”
Ultimately, she credits her mother’s love and support that motivated her to become the person she is today. “Even though my father wasn’t there, my mom was still there and I could still stay focused,” Kilpatrick said. “I didn’t use that as a crutch. I used that to build me up and motivate me more, because of my situation.”