Kate A. Lassiter does well in class and on the softball field. But one of her favorite activities is helping the elderly.
"I like old people," said the 17-year-old senior at Joppatowne High School. "Theyknow so much. Some kids think old people forget what it's like to be17 or 18. That's not true."
Lassiter, who will be graduating fourth in her class with a 3.7 grade-point average, used to spend a lot of time helping the area's senior citizens play bingo at the Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church on Joppa Farm Road. During high school, as she got more involved with her studies and sports, Lassiter had to give up her work at the church.But she did not forget the elderly friends she had made.
Lassiterenjoys writing and is a contributor to the school's literary magazine, Albatross, which comes out annually. She also works on the school yearbook, helping with layout design.
The young student said she hopes to become a professional copy writer one day, working for an advertising agency.
"It's a creative field," she said. "I like to be creative, and I want to like what I do."
Lassiter, whose favorite class is creative writing, said she has also considered trying to earn a living writing poetry and short stories. "Everybody told me I'd starve to death," she said.
She enjoys writing fiction, though, andrecently got a little carried away on a creative writing assignment.It called for a three-page short story; she ended up with an eight-page piece about a family suffering from the problems of alcoholism.
Kate plans to attend Towson State University and study English. Shehasn't heard yet whether she will receive any scholarships, so she intends to get a job this summer to help pay for school.
"I want tostudy English," she said, "because those classes are the ones I do best in and I like the best."
She said a lot of her friends, because they are seniors and almost finished with school, have stopped applying themselves academically.
"I tried to see what it's like not to do an assignment," she said. "I just couldn't do it. I always have to do my best. I feel that people expect it. I feel that they will bedisappointed in me."
Her parents, Sara and Tom Lassiter, encouraged her to excel in school. "My dad pushes me really hard," she said. "But when I don't do things right, my mom's there to say 'That's OK, you tried.' "