At Trinity High School in Whitesville, Ky. their mission is to provide a spiritual environment, together with a comprehensive educational program, dedicated to faith formation in the Roman Catholic Church. As 24 graduating seniors earned their diploma Friday night at the Horn Community Center, the overall goal of the school was to prepare and empower students to become lifelong learners who are responsible members of the church, their families, and the community.
For one graduate, Mary Hardesty, her college and career aspirations are anything but modest. Her high school achievements extend beyond what most set out to achieve and it’s her passion for caring for others that has this young lady set out to be an oncologist.
Oncology is a branch of medicine that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Mary’s life experiences have led her to this aspirational career path.
“I just really want to help people. I know several people who have struggled with cancer and I want to be able to bring them and their families a little bit of comfort,” Hardesty said. “I am going into the medical field as I want to study to become an oncologist.”
Her college plans include majoring in biology with her course program in pre-med and the goal of being well-prepared for the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test).
“I’m hoping to finish my undergraduate in three years and I’ve already started some undergraduate degree work with a few online classes,” Mary said. “I’ll be applying for med school so that I can hopefully fulfill my dream of becoming an oncologist. I know it will be difficult, but it should be worth it.”
Mary chose the University of Southern Indiana (USI) to continue her education, because, although it is not a relatively large school, it would still give her the opportunity to branch out a little bit from her upbringing at 10510 Main Cross St.
“It is a big goal that she has,” Mary’s mother, Rita said. “I told her that you have to find something you are happy with. Her goal has changed over the years but the last few years of high school it has been to go into the medical field. I’ve always told her I would support her and if she changes her mind that’s okay too.”
Rita and her husband Chuck chose to send all three of their children to Trinity due to the faith-based teaching. With the support of her family and teachers, Mary has excelled, showing her driven personality.
“She is just a very determined young lady,” Rita said. “She sees something and she goes after it if she wants it, she does that in everything,”
Mary’s list of accomplishments include Kentucky Excellence in Education Scholarship (KEES), Academic Achievement Award – Matt Castlen, JA Career Success Certificate of Achievement, Workplace Essential Skills Certification, Daviess County Cattleman’s Association Scholarship, John B. and Brownie Young Scholarships, Mary Barrett Evans Scholarship, Whitesville Community Credit Union Scholarships, Larry Hagar Award, Summa Cum Laude, and she was also the Class Secretary as well as Secretary of Student Council, Secretary of Junior Honor Society, Treasure of the Y Club, Secretary of Catholics in Action, and Secretary of the Spirit Club.
Mary also dedicated her time to high school sports including playing on the volleyball team all four years, as well as basketball and cheerleading in her earlier high school years.
“I loved it at Trinity because it’s a really small school but it’s given me a lot of opportunities to show myself as a leader and really get involved in the school,” Mary said. “I loved the people I’ve attended with. The teachers really care about you. We’re all one big family.”
Mary’s reflection on her experience at Trinity included the opportunity to go to mass every week at school and sharing that common bond of religion.
“It’s great because a lot of teachers open up class with prayer and the teachers are just so supportive,” Mary said. “As long as you’re putting in the work they will too.”
Mary was quick to share her appreciation for her favorite teacher, Ms. Katie Williams, who was Mary’s math teacher at Trinity High.
“She made us work but she was always willing to help out,” Mary said. “She challenged me more than any other teacher and she really taught me how far hard work can go. I’m just very thankful for my family and friends and teachers. Without them, I know none of this would have been possible and I would not have as big of dreams as I do.”