Youth of the Month - Kate Hyder

Look over Kate Hyder's accomplishments and you might wonder whether she puts on a superhero suit and fights crime in her spare time, too.

Kate, 18, is a Westside High School senior and has a 4.0 grade point average.

She has been the captain of the girls varsity soccer team for four years, is the founder of the Invisible Children Club at the school and was recently crowned Miss Westside.

She is also involved in her church, Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church.

She's a Christian first and foremost, though.

"That's definitely who I define myself as first," she said.

She's also invested in her schoolwork, which she says is a priority, then sports.

"She leads on and off the field," said her soccer coach, Larry McAlevy.

Since the summer of her freshman year, she's participated in Service Over Self with her church. The group that year restored an inner-city home in Memphis, Tenn.

Her mother, Jeanne, says the trip had an impact on Kate.

"She came home from that week and said 'this has forever changed me,' " Mrs. Hyder said. "It shaped her life."

That led to her founding Westside's Invisible Children club, which benefits children affected by war in North Uganda.

"I have a huge passion for children and service, so it just hit me," Kate said.

She also maintains a part-time job, is vice president of the Executive Council and is president of Key Club.

Kate says she's able to balance all her activities because she is driven.

If she's not passionate about an activity, it doesn't make the cut, she said.

Her mother said one thing others might not see is that she's a great big sister to her younger sibling Mattie, 15.

The two are close, and are playing soccer together this year.

"Kate is a compassionate child that cares more for people than the accolades," Mrs. Hyder said.

WHAT IS COMMUNITY COUNTS?

Community Counts is The Augusta Chronicle's collaborative effort to benefit the communities in our area.

SALUTE A YOUTH

Community Counts Youth of the Month award recognizes students who have talents in the arts, athletics or other areas. Nominees must be ages 8-18 and Aiken-Augusta area residents. Nomination forms are at chronicle.augusta.com/communitycounts/nominate. For more, call (706) 823-3223 or e-mail sarah.owen@augustachronicle.com.