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Cumberland County Schools Standout Seniors 2022

Volunteer work, love of books help ‘military brat’ Gavin Lawrence succeed

Massey Hill Classical High senior hopes to help people find their own path

Meet 2022 Standout Senior, Gavin Lawrence, from Massey Hill Classical High School
Cumberland County Schools

Gavin Lawrence knows firsthand the sacrifices that military families must make. His father is in the Army.

Gavin has moved nine times throughout his life, never staying in one place more than two years. In high school alone, he attended three different schools. His family moved to Cumberland County last year.

Gavin spent his senior school year at Massey Hill Classical High School, where he has thrived as a student leader. Right away, he started volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and Key Club. He also works as a lifeguard, earning the Fort Bragg Morale, Welfare and Recreation Aquatics Employee of the Quarter award.

In his free time, he enjoys reading.

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Although moving was hard, Gavin knows that it has helped shape him into the person he is today. A natural introvert, constantly leaving friends and starting over has helped him become more extroverted and has built his character along the way.

“What I have learned from this is that we all have different kinds of high school experiences,” Gavin says. “However, these experiences help shape us into who we are or will become. I'm thankful to Massey Hill High School for making my senior year the best high school experience.”

Because of Gavin’s hard work and drive to succeed, he earned the Pennsylvania State University Kenneth and Andrea Frazier Liberal Arts Scholarship. He was also selected for the Defense Commissary Agency Scholars program.

“Gavin is goal-driven yet empathetic and has clear plans to become a psychiatrist or psychologist to help those in the community with mental health needs,” says Ann-Marie Palmer, principal of Massey Hill High.

Although Gavin spent only a year at Massey Hill, he has made his mark.

“I would like to be remembered for always trying to put a smile on someone's face,” says Gavin. “Popularity is not important. Finding friends who actually care about you and will help you out through the rough times is the most important thing to have going through high school.”

Gavin has also developed relationships with teachers and staff members.

“I believe that all the staff in my school are amazing,” Gavin says. “Ms. Dunn, our librarian, stands out because she truly values your opinion and supports you in anything you want to do. I’ve had many wonderful conversations with her and because of that, the library has become a safe haven for me. She has taught me I shouldn't be ashamed about what I read and that, in turn, sparked my love for reading.”

Gavin will attend Pennsylvania State University in the fall, majoring in psychology. His goal is to eventually go to medical school and become a psychiatrist.

“Life is already hard enough but adding mental illness on top of it makes it 10 times more difficult,” Gavin says. “If I can help them cope with their mental illness, then maybe they can live a life that’s worth living and be on a path they want to be on.”

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of stories about the Standout Seniors of 2022 as selected by Cumberland County Schools.

Video: Douglas Byrd High's Nichelle Smith finds outlet in theater, music

Video: Cumberland Polytechnic's Luis Mancilla-Vazquez engineers his way through educational, career aspirations

Video: Early College student Arianna Herring finds her voice

Video: Cumberland Academy's Elaura Dalton takes the road less traveled

Video: Cross Creek Early College's Jefferson Skinner has a tip: 'Get involved'

Video: Facing challenges head-on, Jedidiah Coon succeeds in classroom, sports -- and life

Video: For Wilkins High senior Aiana Abron, determination leads to graduation

Fayetteville, Cumberland County, graduation, education, Massey Hill Classical High School