CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Clarion-Limestone senior Brooke Baughman has found a passion in helping others. Whether it is in food drives at Hope Rising Church, volunteering her time as a poll worker for the 2021 primary election, or serving customers at Eat-N-Park, Baughman always finds a way to give back.
(Photos by Dave Cyphert of ProPoint Media Photography)
“If I have a day off from work, I am going to find a way to make use of it by volunteering or being with friends,” said the Clarion-Limestone senior. “I just want to continue to help people because it makes me feel good.”
Soon, the Clarion County native will be off to Gannon University in Erie, Pa., to study pre-dental with aspirations to become a dental hygienist.
“Right now, I am not entirely sure what I want to do, but after a job shadow, I saw how much of a difference they can make, and it inspired me to possibly pursue a career in the field.”
Heading to Gannon also means the opportunity to potentially continue one of her biggest passions: cheerleading. From an early age, Baughman has been involved in the sport as she began her career as a part of the Clarion YMCA Sparkles cheer organization.
From there, she eventually was old enough to cheer in the pee-wee football league and continued on with cheerleading into junior high, varsity, and now even high school competition cheer. This school year was the first time that Clarion-Limestone had the opportunity to qualify for the state championship competition which was held in Hershey, Pa.
In a time like this, qualifying for a competition of this importance was a huge accomplishment for a group of young women trying to navigate through a difficult high school experience. Later this year, the soon-to-be Clarion-Limestone graduate will be trying out for the Gannon Golden Knights Competition Cheer Squad that travels the country. The team placed third in a national competition this school year.
While cheer has been a passion of hers for many years, she is not afraid to try new things, such as choir which she joined in her final year of high school. Recently, the group performed their first and only concert of the school year ending the school year in a big way. The two-hour-long performance allowed for each member to sing their own individual song with other group performances being added into the show, as well.
Baughman also volunteered as a poll worker at the primary election at Clarion Township’s voting precinct for the first time. When asking her what made her decide to step up and volunteer for this experience, she explained, “Mrs. Blair, our civics and economics teacher, introduced me to the idea of volunteering for this opportunity, and I wanted to explore it to see if it interested me.”
“The behind the scenes was pretty neat to experience and also to see the news and how they were talking about it as well. It was something I feel was very important and informational to me, and I definitely think I will be helping again in the future,” Baughman added regarding the primary election.
Other activities the high school senior enjoys are volleyball as she was a four-year member of the Lady Lions volleyball program. She also is a greeter and volunteer for Hope Rising Church and helps to organize food drives and prepare meals for the Clarion community. Baughman also serves as the President of Future Farmers of America which is a prestigious honor for Clarion-Limestone students.
While she is excited to leave for college, she also knows it will be difficult to leave her best friend and mother Mechelle “Mickie” Baughman as she begins this new chapter later this year. She credits her mother for being the rock in her life and someone she can turn to for anything.
Another influential person in her life has been Mr. Alden, the Clarion-Limestone Chemistry teacher who has shown a great level of empathy and kindness to his students as they continue to navigate a unique time in education.
As can be seen, Brooke Baughman is not a typical high school senior. She is heavily concerned about her community and making a difference not just for herself, but for others. As she continues her academic career in a new place and in a new city this fall, she is sure to remember the people she’s met and will be quick to tell people Clarion County is home.