Toolooa student wins national leadership award
KAITLYN Read was one of three students in the country and the only student in Queensland to receive the 2015 Helen Handbury Leadership Award.
The Toolooa State High School student was awarded for her outstanding community leadership.
Nominated by employees of her high school, Kaitlyn never expected she was going to win the award.
"I'm just so excited and happy - it's a really big achievement," she said.
"Considering how many nominations there are for the award, I wasn't really expecting it.
"It's a really good feeling knowing that all my hard work has paid off."
Not only is Kaitlyn the school captain and president of the school's Interact Club, she is also an avid volunteer within the community.
Year 12 co-ordinator and mother Natasha Read said if anyone deserved an award it was her daughter.
"As a teacher, I see Kaitlyn is an amazing student and who puts all of her effort towards academic progress and community initiative," she said.
"As her mum I personally see the hard yards she puts in - both in and outside of school.
"It's absolutely fantastic that she is being recognised for all she does and I'm really pleased her efforts aren't going unnoticed.
"I just couldn't be more proud if I tried."
Kaitlyn said she sometimes found juggling all of her commitments with school work to be a bit of a challenge.
"I do get a bit stressed sometimes, but its awards like these and the recognition of hard work which make it all worthwhile," she said.
"I couldn't have done it without my mum, she's amazing and has supported me through everything."
TSHS principal Garry Goltz said he was incredibly proud of Kaitlyn.
"She does an enormous amount for this school and the community - as a school we are glad she has gotten the recognition and reward that she deserves," he said.
Winners of the award receive funding towards an international trip to experience community development in another culture.
To nominate someone for an award or for more information, visit www.futureleaders.com.au.