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Scholar-athletes balance sports, grades, community
by Maurice Dixon
May 27, 2014 01:35 PM | 2687 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye. From left, seniors Kaitlyn Hodges of Woodland High and Jurie Joyner of Ola High.
Staff / Katherine Frye. From left, seniors Kaitlyn Hodges of Woodland High and Jurie Joyner of Ola High.
With all of the success Woodland senior Kaitlyn Hodges and Ola senior Jurie Joyner have encountered as athletes, they have also been able to set the same standard while in the classroom and volunteering in the community.

Before Hodges and Joyner graduated from their respective schools last Friday, they earned grade-point averages exceeding 4.0.

Hodges, who will attend West Georgia, finished with a 4.36 GPA and Joyner, who will play softball at the University of Pennsylvania, had a 4.2.

“It comes with a lot of late-night work,” said Hodges, a member of the National Honor Society.

Also a member of the Spanish and science honor societies, Hodges said her favorite subjects are English and biology.

“I’ve always loved writing,” she said. “I’ve been in multiple competitions for writing. Biology is really interesting. I love seeing how everything works.”

Joyner said she likes English and social studies.

“I like learning about history and there is a lot of history in Pennsylvania and that is really exciting for me,” Joyner said.

Voted most likely to succeed, Hodges plans to major in English and become a teacher and volleyball coach.

“I was very happy to get that,” Hodges, who played volleyball and soccer, said about the vote. “It means a lot. Hopefully, I can fulfill it.”

Joyner, a member of SkillsUSA and the mock trial team, plans to earn a degree in communications or political science and wants to be a lawyer.

For community service, Joyner and Hodges have both spent time at elderly homes in the area.

“I love talking to the elderly because I feel like they have so much wisdom,” Joyner said. “I love listening to their life experiences. Volunteering there taught me a lot.”

At Dogwood Forest, Hodges helped organize activities like a senior prom and bingo.

She also sold oranges for the Deputy for a Day program, which benefits a less fortunate child.

“Doing these things in the community helps me realize I’m blessed and I have a lot of things that other people don’t have,” Hodges said.

“It benefits me and the other people who work the events more than the people there because they get so happy.”

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