Youth of the Year: Perkins a standout in all areas

By Stephen Milligan - the walton tribune

The Walton Tribune named Addalyn its 2024 Youth of the Year

Addalyn Perkins, the 2024 Visions Youth of the Year, has spent countless hours on the softball diamond. She was inspired to play the sport by her father. Stephen Milligan | The Walton Tribune

Addalyn Perkins has spent much of her life on the softball field.

Since starting T-ball at the age of 3, Perkins has been honing her skills at the plate and in the field, moving up to travel ball as she got older, and she’s spent the last four years of  high school on the varsity softball squad at Monroe Area High School, making the All-Region Team in her senior season.

“Sports are sort of big in my family,” Perkins said. “I’m super family oriented and I went into softball because my dad was my inspiration there. His coaching brought the best out of me. He really believed in me.”

But softball is only the tip of the iceberg for Perkins. While it has been her primary athletic focus — she signed an athletic scholarship to play softball at the next level at Piedmont University in Demorest — she’s also been on the MAHS flag football team and competed in track and field, lettering in both of those as well.

“I like to be well-rounded,” Perkins said.

That’s a goal she’s definitely achieved — Perkins is in the National Honor Society, the Beta Club, the Student Leadership Project, NG3 and other extra-curriculars at MAHS. She’s also a Debutante of Monroe and volunteers for charitable events through their aegis, particularly at local ministry Faith In Serving Humanity. She’s volunteered with the Relay for Life, inspired to help in honor of her grandmother’s battle with cancer. And she’s active at her church, 1025 Church in Monroe. All while maintaining a 97 GPA and a rank in the top 20 of her class at MAHS.

That’s why Addalyn Perkins has been selected by The Walton Tribune as its 2024 Youth of the Year.

“It’s exciting,” Perkins said on being informed she was chosen as this year’s Youth of the Year. “I’m glad I get to represent my school and community, and that my achievements have been noticed.”

Perkins said she’s worked hard to get to this point, poised at the edge of graduation, mere months away from going to Piedmont to study nursing.

“My mom inspired me there, because she works as a nurse,” Perkin said. “I’d really like to be a pediatric nurse.”

She said she’s quite ready to head to college for many reasons, but she’ll miss MAHS, too.

“The whole idea of freedom is exciting,” Perkins said. “But it’ll be a sad moment, too. All my teachers and friends are here and I’ll miss everyone.”

She’s been doing a lot to prepare for the time, though. She’s taken several Advanced Placement courses, including AP Art this semester, and she’s also taken dual enrollment courses through Toccoa Falls College.

And she’s active in the community, through DOM and other groups.

“We’re involved with parades, at car shows and other events,” Perkins said of her involvement with DOM. “And on weekends and breaks, I’ll help with FISH.”

Perkins said she was drawn to FISH, in particular, for its work with children.

“They’re an amazing organization,” Perkins said. “I help with food drives and feeding the kids.”

She also works with children as part of the kids ministry at 1025 Church, where she and her family attend.

“Faith is a big part of my family,” Perkins said. “And I like working with kids. I like to connect with them and learn about them.”

Which brings her full circle back to her plans to go into nursing, where she hopes to keep working with kids.

“That’s always been the dream,” Perkins said.

Perkins’ pastor, the Rev. Tommy Fountain at 1025 Church, said Addalyn is an overachieving student with a strong spiritual core.

“She represents Christ, her family and her church well in everything she does,” Fountain said. “She’s a competitor, but at the same time, she’s a team player. She had a tremendous bond with her family. She’s just extremely well-balanced academically, socially and spiritually.”

All of her work, though, Perkins said, is in pursuit of a consistent goal, one she achieves every day but which she works to keep earning with everything she does.

“I just really want to make my family proud,” Perkins said. 

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