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Lawrence County High School
Karlie Blankenship was nominated to be a Young Hero by her friend, co-workers and mentor—Amy Fleming. The two work together at Dr. Rodney W. Harney’s family medical practice. “Karlie is a young hero,” Ms. Fleming wrote, “I personally watched this young lady go through so much pain and suffering. She has persevered in a way that marvels everyone who knows her.”
Dr. Harney says of her, “I’ve had the privilege to employ Karlie in my office during the summer months. She is a wonderful worker—highly motivated and quick to learn.”
Karlie’s mother is disabled due to advanced Celiac disease, a rare autoimmune disorder of the small intestine, and is unable to work because of the condition. Both parents battled drug addictions during Karlie’s younger years. In fact, her father lost this battle in July, 2004, when he died from an accidental overdose. In 2007, her mother was hospitalized for treatment of her own addiction—an intervention that saved her life.
One of Karlie’s sisters has a child, and Karlie is a caregiver for her nephew. She takes the responsibility of caring for the child even as she battles her own health problems. Karlie has scoliosis, a condition in which her spine is curved from side to side. The scoliosis causes severe back pain, and Karlie recently underwent surgery to correct the problem.
A member of Harmony Baptist Church, Karlie serves her community in many ways – volunteering in children’s ministry, helping the elderly, assisting in the clean-up from tornadoes, and participating in charitable fundraising events. Karlie rings bells for the Salvation Army, works on the Lion’s Club sight bus, volunteers at the Lawrence County Fair, and mentors children in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. She has proven herself a natural leader among her peers. Student pastor Johnathan E. Evans commented, “I see an outstanding ability to balance the extensive work required by her teachers and extracurricular activities. Karlie has an amazing ability to focus on the task at hand and prioritize her schedule.”
Karlie maintains a 4.00 grade point average while taking the heaviest course load available, including dual enrollment in college. She is a member of the National Honor Society, and she was chosen for Youth Leadership Lawrence County. She also plays on her school’s golf team, which won the county tournament in 2011.
Karlie has been accepted to attend Auburn University.