Junior, C. Milton Wright
“The feeling that I impacted someone's life positively, even in the slightest way, makes me feel amazing because that means that someone else's day is even the tiniest bit better, which is what community service is all about.”
Katelyn O’Connor, age 16, is a member of the all-youth board of advisors of the We Cancerve Movement, Inc. She served as project leader for We Cancerve’s first major fundraiser: a Summer Dance Beach Party organized to raise funds for Camp Happy, which is We Cancerve’s free summer enrichment program for children experiencing homelessness. She’s also been a committed supporter of La Magnifique Boutique, a free boutique located at a Bel Air group home for teen girls in foster care.
Katelyn is currently a junior at C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air. Since her freshmen year, Katelyn has been a peer helper for a program called Sports for Life. Sports for Life is a program in which students with disabilities are paired with peers to participate in county-wide tournaments of three different sports: bocce ball, bowling, and basketball. Katelyn also serves as the President and Founder of the National Honors Society for Dance Arts, one of the co-founders and members of Rho Kappa Social Studies Honors Society, a member of the National Honors Society, and a member of the National Society of High School Scholars. In addition to that, she is also Junior Class Council Vice President, and a member of the Spanish Club and of C. Milton Wright Varsity Dance Team, both of which she started participating in her freshmen year. Starting her sophomore year, she became a member of the American Sign Language Club which she still actively participates in today. She is also active in her church, Saint Margaret’s, in which she is a part of the Youth Music Ministry. Another organization Katelyn holds membership to is being a staff writer and the only official contributor for the newspaper at C. Milton Wright -- the CMW Pony Express.
At a young age, Katelyn began participating in Girl Scouts at Saint Margaret’s School. Through this, she participated in service projects such as Christmas caroling at local nursery homes, food and clothing drives, writing cards to soldiers overseas and making blankets for homeless shelters. In her time at Saint Margaret’s Middle School, she was an active member of the Saint Margaret’s Service Club. Through the Service Club, she completed various service activities such as hosting monthly bingos at Bel Air Rehabilitation Center, making blankets for homeless shelters, and various parish activities such as helping out with parish Easter egg hunts.
Currently, Katelyn takes part in service, not only through We Cancerve, but also through participating in Youth Music Ministry at Saint Margaret Church and Sports for Life.
“Service always gives me a certain sense of fulfillment. Starting out at a very early age with service, it was always just instilled in me the importance of contributing to the well-being of others. All in all, their happiness brings me happiness,” said Katelyn.
Academically, Katelyn has always had Distinguished Honor Roll grades all through elementary, middle, and high school, receiving the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence at the end of 8th grade. Starting from a very early age, she has received multiple awards based on her writing, including wining 2nd place in the Harford County Young Author’s Contest in 3rd grade, and in 2012 being selected as a finalist for the Harford County, “If I Were Mayor” writing competition. More recent writing awards include Katelyn’s recent promotion in status on the school newspaper; going from being a staff writer to being a staff writer and official contributor. Other early academic awards Katelyn has received include earning 4th place in the Saint Margaret’s School Science Fair in 8th grade and being a part of the Math Olympics team at Saint Margaret’s School from 6th through 8th grade, in which she competed and placed with her team at a state- wide math competition hosted at Catholic High High School. In her freshmen and sophomore year, Katelyn was a recipient of the Student Quarterly Achievement Award for excellence in the school community.
Katelyn has also received awards for her participation in the arts. Katelyn was named the first ever Harford County All County Dancer in 2017 through Harford County Public Schools. Through her participation at The Rage Box Contemporary Dance Center, Katelyn has also received many other dance related scholarships such as Senior Outstanding Dancer Finalist at NYCDA, A-List Dancer at Monsters of Hip Hop, and Faculty Choice Dancer at ASH Dance Convention.
In addition to school and church activities, Katelyn is also a dancer where she is a company member at the Rage Box Contemporary Dance Center. She spends her time training in ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, modern, musical theater, hip hop, acrobatic arts, and tap. This year, Katelyn is taking on a new adventure and in addition to her group pieces at dance competitions, she will also be competing a contemporary solo.
Katelyn performs in productions with multiple performing arts companies such at Harford Dance Theater, Mid Atlantic Youth Ballet, and Tidewater Players. This year, Katelyn was the Scarecrow in Mid Atlantic Youth Ballet’s Wizard of Oz, Professor Ella Mentry in Harford Dance Theater’s Harriet’s Happiest Halloween, a soloist in Harford Dance Theater’s Kinetic Canvas: Vincent Van Gogh, and The White Queen in Tidewater Player’s CHESS The Musical. In Harford Dance Theater’s Nutcracker this year, Katelyn will be performing as a soloist as well as various parts in the corps de ballet.
Katelyn is also a model for Curtain Call Costumes. You can find her doing various live modeling events such as fashion shows and also in print. Katelyn can be found in the Curtain Call Costumes Catalog 2019 and also as the cover of the Curtain Call Costumes Catalog 2017.