by Emily Smith
The Paducah Sun
February 11, 2019
Used with permission.
Nautica Beasley, a Paducah Tilghman High School senior, is blazing a trail of her own by becoming the first member of her family to attend a four-year university.
Throughout her childhood, Beasley had to overcome her share of difficulties and pain, but with a solid support system backing her up, she has learned what it means to take life's lemons and make lemonade.
"I don't want to disappoint my grandparents or my uncle and aunt because they kind of raised me," Beasley said. "I didn't want the same thing that happened to my parents to happen to me. I want to set an example for my younger sisters."
Beasley feels the pain of her past has driven her toward future success.
With a nearly perfect grade-point average, Beasley is on the principal's honor roll at Paducah Tilghman and is a Paxton Scholar, selected as one of four outstanding minority students in her class. More recently, Beasley was offered the $30,000 William C. Parker Diversity Scholarship by the University of Kentucky and the Woodford R. Porter Scholarship by the University of Louisville.
"What motivates me is doing well for my grandparents, my aunt and uncle, and my sisters," Beasley said.
Beasley, the niece of Jonathan and Sarah Smith, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week. Each week in the online edition and Tuesday in the print edition, The Sun features a teen selected from nominees submitted by guidance counselors throughout the region. Near the end of the school year, one of the students profiled will be named Teen of the Year and receive a $5,000 scholarship.