Scholar of the Week
Kaylah Burt of Manchester High School
By Janeal Downs
Since the eighth grade Kaylah Burt has had an interest in the criminal justice field and it has simply grown over the years. “As I have developed into a young adult I’ve continued to have a passion for helping others, drugs whether tremendous or small, pill ” she wrote in an essay. “The passion I carry has cultivated into a love for crime fighting, saving lives, and the love for community service.” She has already had a taste of what it would be like to be in the field, because this past summer she interned with the Virginia State Police Department. “It was amazing. I honestly wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did but it was such a great experience,” she said. She also had the opportunity to create a video as a tribute to a fallen trooper. Because of her video and its positive reception from the others, she received a letter of commendation from one of the retired troopers.
She is not yet completely sure if she will go into the police academy, but Kaylah does plan on attending a four-year university and majoring in criminal justice. Her top choices are Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va. and Methodist University in Fayetteville, N.C. These schools appeal to her because she likes that they are small so teachers can connect with students and the family aspect of the schools. One lesson she will take with her to college is that it is important to be open minded and “learn from other people. Don’t be stuck in your ways.”
With a passion for helping others, while still in high school, she volunteers through different organizations to give back. Among other activities, through her church’s youth ministry she served by helping the Children’s Miracle Network Anthem Lemon Aid stand which reached out to the elderly. She has also been able to volunteer as a member of her school’s National BETA club. When she is not volunteering or doing school work, Kaylah’s favorite activities are running track and photography. She enjoys the team aspect of track, and photography allows her to be “creative with my own vision.” Her photography skills led her to making the video for the Virginia State Police Department, and she also had the opportunity to create special video tributes of various youth activities for her church family.
Kaylah’s parents are her biggest inspirations because they are very driven in life. “Empowering others and helping them live in a safe environment is something that really drives me,” Kaylah said. Although there are dangers in the criminal justice field and currently a lot of backlash against those who work in criminal justice, Kaylah wants to be able to change the communities in Richmond, around the world and “bring minorities forward instead of backwards.” She wants the community to know that she likes to help people and make others smile.