Celia Vaughn has succeeded in everything she has pursued, including academics, athletics, community service and extracurricular activities. She keeps a busy schedule with soccer practice, regular volunteer work, AP classes and musical pursuits. She does it all while maintaining a near-perfect GPA.
“I’ve challenged myself in academics, athletics, community service and leadership. I pushed myself to be the best I could in all those categories even though at times it was stressful,” she said.
Vaughn was 10 years old when she got her first taste of community service. She visited Guatemala with her parents, who were volunteering to help children with disabilities. The family founded an organization that sponsors scholarships for students there and has recruited other local families to help.
“It’s been a big part of my life,” Vaughn said.
She has returned to Guatemala several times and had been inspired to become more involved in her own community. Her volunteer service includes FISH food bank, Food Backpacks 4 Kids, Volunteer Chore Services and Treehouse Holiday Carousel. She has also volunteered at Voyager and Discovery elementary schools and has caroled at nursing homes.
“I feel like I want to leave a mark not only on my own community but on the world too. It’s especially important for youth to have a presence in their community,” she said.
In addition to community service, Vaughn has been focused on soccer. She has been playing with a premier club since middle school and as a member of a national league, has competed around the country — playing at the highest level available to female youth players.
She was on the school’s varsity team during the first three years of high school and as a senior she trained with a boys team to help her better prepare for playing in college.
Her club soccer team manager, Mike Carrington, said Vaughn played a pivotal role in the team’s state championship in 2011.
“I have personally witnessed many of her outstanding performances against the best competition the country has to offer,” he said. “She is extremely talented, caring, articulate, intelligent, a beautiful young lady and has a sharp wit to go with a heartwarming smile.”
Vaughn’s longtime dream was to play soccer in college and she will fulfill that dream by playing at Seattle University. She has not decided on a career yet but is interested in health and education, and has been accepted into the nursing program.
Category: Community Service
Education: Senior, Gig Harbor High School
Parents: Jim and Anca Vaughn
Activities/achievements: Volunteer for FISH, Food Backpacks 4 Kids, Volunteer Chore Services, Discovery Elementary, Voyager Elementary, nursing home caroling, Treehouse Holiday Carousel and others; Guatemala service; Washington Premier FC team captain; soccer All-State First Team, All-Area First Team, All-League First Team, Scholar Athlete; National Honor Society; Spanish tutor; MultiCare nurse camp; Meistersingers; violin
Favorite teacher: Molly Pugh, English, and Joe Everett, Spanish, “for their interactive teaching styles and genuine interest in student learning and success.”
Best thing about high school: “The student body’s strong connection with our community, whether it be athletics, service or school pride.”