While many high school student’s days are spent socializing, playing sports or focused on personal success, Grace Echevarria’s resume is filled with giving back to society.
The Carlisle High School senior is involved in civic organizations focused on helping youth, fighting addiction and giving back to those in need.
“Service is kind of like in my blood,” Echevarria said. “I have a lot of relatives who are nurses or doctors and my dad’s in the military. I grew up around a lot of military people. It’s just kind of been ingrained in me since I was little that in order to feel good about yourself, you serve other people and make them feel good.”
Her service includes being a part of Big Brother/Big Sister, the Salvation Army of Carlisle, Relay for Life and Project SHARE.
Echevarria is also a member of the Youth Advisory Board and Leadership Team for the Cumberland Perry County Drug and Alcohol Commission, as well as being part of the commission’s substance abuse prevention coalition.
Her work through the drug and alcohol commission allows her to help craft a message and speak with young people about addiction.
“I really like to work with kids, so going out and trying to make a difference … before they get to high school and are interacting with those people who are doing drugs more often and everything,” she said.
What she is most proud of, however, is her selection for and completion of the United States Military Academy Summer Leadership Academy this year.
Echevarria, who hopes to attend either the United States Military Academy at West Point or the United States Air Force Academy, got to spend a week at West Point learning what it means to go through the academy.
“Service is something that’s been pushing me through my whole life and the military is something that I really want to do and somewhere I really want to go,” she said. “It showed me that I actually can and all the work I have put into getting there is actually getting me somewhere. … It kind of showed me that I could survive the military academy, and I enjoy the military side of it and not just the academics.”
Echevarria said she her ultimate goal is to become a doctor.
“Grace truly gives back to her school and her community at large,” school counselor Emily McDonald wrote in her nomination letter. “When I look at her resume it just leaves me breathless and wondering when she has time to sleep.”
Echevarria’s accolades do not stop at her community service. She also is a member of multiple honor societies, is a member of the model UN, plays tennis and has a weighted GPA of 4.264 that gives her a weighted rank of ninth in a class of 297.
“Grace’s reputation precedes her and she is often spoken of with highest accolades,” chemistry and biology teacher Shani Schales wrote in a nomination letter for Echevarria. “… After meeting Grace, it did not take long to realize what a special individual she is.”