Illiana Christian High School student Kayla VanderWall enjoys using her talents to help those in need.
A senior at the Lansing school, VanderWall has been named this year’s salutatorian, with a grade point average of 4.34 on a 4.0 scale after seven semesters, due to weighted grades.
“It feels great knowing that God has given me a great mind and that all of my hard work has paid off from over the years,” the Munster resident said.
VanderWall is a member of the Tutor Club at Illiana, meeting after school and during study hall with students seeking academic assistance.
“I help any students who have questions or need further explanation in something.”
“I decided to start tutoring because I strongly believe in using my God-given gifts to help others. Tutoring is a great way for me to use my knowledge to benefit others,” she said.
A cheerleader and tennis player throughout high school, VanderWall will attend Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. to study biology or chemistry and hopes to become a physician’s assistant or a nurse practitioner.
She attends Faith Church in Dyer, serving as a small group leader for kindergarten and first-grade Sunday school programs, and has served on mission trips to Nashville and Pikeville, Ky.
“In Nashville, my team and I focused on interacting with homeless people. We took them out to lunch or breakfast, listening to their stories and providing them with company. We also served at various soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and a Boys and Girls Club,” she said.
“In Pikeville, my team and I installed siding and built a deck for and elderly lady whose husband was bedridden. It was a great experience to learn teamwork and leadership skills,” she added.