Wildcat of the Week: Austin Bradley

DHS senior uses extracurricular involvement to his advantage

Senior Austin Bradley collects recyclable material for the Environmental Club with seniors Erin Pickert and Lauren Stanton.

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Senior Austin Bradley collects recyclable material for the Environmental Club with seniors Erin Pickert and Lauren Stanton.

Ella Fixsen, News Editor

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Being involved in extracurricular activities is highly encouraged at De Soto High School. While many students choose to actively participate in different sports and clubs, senior Austin Bradley has chosen to take his involvement to a new level, especially when it comes to transferring his skills outside of the hallways of DHS. 

Bradley is involved in many organizations at DHS, including A&M crew, National Honor Society, boys’ soccer, Scholars Bowl, Environmental Club and Cats Care. Being a member of these groups has helped Bradley form skills that are useful to him in his everyday life. 

“[Being involved] has helped me a lot because I’m naturally very introverted, and I’ve learned to force myself out of my comfort zone through the years so that I’m not just sitting at home being a little loner,” Bradley said. “You definitely learn how to get along with people when you’re having to work with them in different organizations.”

Although each activity Bradley participates in provides specific benefits, Bradley feels that Cats Care, an organization based upon volunteer work within the community, has been the most influential. 

“I think Cats Care has been the most impactful for me because it’s all about volunteering, so getting to do some of the things that I have done through that organization, like working with elementary students over at Starside or doing food pantry related things, has been the most meaningful to me,” Bradley said. “It’s helped to remind me of the importance of helping others going on through the rest of my life, because I want to be a person who gives and volunteers.”

Bradley also takes part in the school’s Eudora Technical Education program, which has given him the opportunity to gain experience in career fields that interest him. 

“I am in FFA with the Floriculture and Greenhouse Management class. I am also in an animal science class, which kind of incorporates some veterinary stuff,” Bradley said.

Bradley has used his involvement to his advantage, especially when choosing a clear path after high school and for his long-term goals. 

“I’m going to K-State, and I am going to be in the pre-med program. For a major, it could be something like biology or plant science, like horticulture, but I’m going to be in the pre-med program either way,” Bradley said. “I want to go on to be like a family physician and work in a rural area where they are a little bit more under-served.”

Bradley has used his experience with DHS programs and organizations to shape his future, and is the perfect example of why extracurricular involvement is so highly encouraged. 

“I think the biggest thing that [being involved] has done is cemented the fact that helping people is what I want to do in the future because it’s given me so many opportunities to help people and give my time,” Bradley said. “It’s helped me realize that whatever I do as a professional career, I want to do something where I am serving other people and giving of myself in some way.”