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Turlock teen survives hardships with a smile, positive outlook
Freedom High senior Kinleigh Kirkpatrick puts cans into the Turlock Together food drive barrel at the school. - photo by MAEGAN MARTENS / The Journal
Most people her age don’t have to deal with some of life’s hardships until they are older, but Freedom Alternative High School student Kinleigh Kirkpatrick has not only survived a few hard knocks, she is thriving despite them.
“Despite the hardships in life, she still has a great attitude,” said Manuel Cobarruvias, Freedom High counselor. “As an adult, I admire her.”
When she was old enough to take care of herself, she had to take care of her older brother as well, said Jim Kirkpatrick, Kinleigh’s father. Kinleigh’s brother was born weighing only one pound and has been sickly ever since.
“Ever since she was little she has been taking care of everybody,” Jim said. “She even takes care of me.”
Although she has many responsibilities at home, Kinleigh still maintains an average GPA of a 3.5 with her highest GPA reaching a 4.2.
“When most students go through a hard time at home, you can see it in their grades,” Cobarruvias said. “I can’t even tell she has gone through some rough times just by looking at her grades.”
Going into freshmen year Kinleigh attended Pitman High School. She transferred to Freedom High her sophomore year, because Pitman wasn’t right for her, she said.
Kinleigh finished all her required courses and credits to graduate in October, but is still attending school “just for fun.” She will graduate in the spring with the rest of her class. Kinleigh is involved in Freedom’s leadership class and stays active in school activities.
“I am finishing out my senior year because I love what this school stands for and I want to be more active in my school,” she said.
In her free time Kinleigh said she likes to play the guitar, which she has been playing since she was in seventh grade. She also likes to take photographs.
After she graduates from Freedom, Kinleigh plans on enrolling in a cosmetology school to become a hair stylist and hopefully one day own her own salon.
“I love making people feel as beautiful as they actually are on the inside and the outside,” Kinleigh said. “It makes me feel good.”
Whatever the future may hold, Kinleigh plans on keeping her positive attitude.
“In order to get through life you have to move forward,” she said. “If you give up, what are you going to do? Just sit there? If you fail, try again. You might get it the next time.”
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015