Number of Participants: 1
Hours Donated: 100
Value of Time Served: $845
Event Type: Civic & Community
Date: June 23, 2023
Katherine Killian noticed that Wantagh lacked clubs for students who are interested in health sciences, like herself. So last spring, she co-founded Wantagh’s chapter of Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), a global student-led organization that empowers students to become leaders in the global health community.
The three-sport athlete is president of her chapter, which has hosted a CPR training night for about 40 students, raised $370 for breast cancer awareness research and written thank-you cards to health care workers.
“I wanted to start this club so people could understand what being into health science looks like in terms of college and beyond,” Killian said. “Also, just to inform people on the different careers because there are a lot of careers, like Med Techs, that get overlooked.”
For the past three summers, Killian has volunteered at Sensory Beans Children’s Gym in Wantagh, a facility for children with Autism and other disabilities.
While helping children on the swings, she noticed that they became calmer when they were swinging back and forth. For her AP research project as a junior, Killian focused on that relationship and determined that playground swings can help teachers and parents’ calm children with Autism.
“I love helping out kids of all different ages and abilities,” Killian said. “It doesn’t matter what you’re capable of doing, everyone is welcome there and I really like being in that type of environment.”
She has also volunteered at Wantagh Public Library, planning summer reading program events and creating activity booklets for elementary students.
Between the volunteer work, extracurriculars and maintaining a 108.56 weighted GPA, Killian captained the girls’ cross country, basketball and lacrosse teams.
She helped her cross-country team organize a push-up challenge fundraiser, that raised more than $600 for the Limb Kind Foundation, a non-profit that provides prosthetics for children.
After graduating as classe valedictorian, Killian will attend Rochester Institute of Technology, where she will play lacrosse and pursue a combined bachelor’s/master’s physician assistant degree.
“She’s one of those special student-athletes that don’t come along too often,” Wantagh girls basketball coach Stan Bujacich said. “The way she balances academics, community service and playing three sports, she’s so well-respected by everyone in the school and even by opposing players.”
– Matt Lindsay