, Muskogee, OK

April 16, 2013

EARNING THEIR STRIPES: Senior overcomes obstacles to shine

— By Miranda Anderson

Times Correspondent

Hunter Waltz, a senior at Fort Gibson High School, said she could have chosen to be bitter and disabled because of obstacles that she has faced.

Instead, she is choosing to be loving, selfless, disciplined and just as able as her peers, said her mother, Jennifer.

“I was born with a clubbed foot,” Hunter said, “so I was always motivated to try my best, because I didn’t want anything to hold me back.”

Hunter said sports wasn’t an option for her because she wasn’t “very coordinated.”

“That has motivated me even more in my academic career, especially in my goal to go into pharmacology, because that takes some very expensive training.”

Her mother takes great pride in Hunter and is very excited for her daughter.

“I love her so much!” Jennifer said. “She’s had to overcome so many obstacles with her foot and her dad and I divorcing when she was so young.”

Hunter is a high honors student, has a part-time job and does volunteer work

She is vice president for the National Art Honors Society, secretary for the advanced placement history club and the Native American Student Association.

Her future plans begin with receiving her primary college education at Northeastern State University starting this fall, she said. After four years, Hunter will also attend the University of Oklahoma Tulsa Campus.

Even now, while still in high school, Waltz has been accepted into Honors College at NSU.

“Even as a little girl, she has been one of the most determined kids I ever knew,” Jennifer said. “She is so stubborn — people would tell her, “No you can’t do that,” and she would do it just to prove them wrong.”

Jennifer said Hunter has a mind of her own, and is sometimes so determined “it is almost orneriness.” Hunter said her faith is also important to her.

“My faith has always been a more personal thing I guess,” she said. “I am a Christian, and I believe in doing good for others. “I think that giving back to the community is a big thing that needs to be happening.”

Hunter said she likes to do volunteer work but doesn’t get to do it as often as she’d like because of her part-time job.

Jennifer said Hunter has had an “amazing impact” on her life, too.

“Like most parents, they want their kids to do better than they did,” Jennifer said. “It’s like I get to live through her.

Jennifer said being a young parent, as she was, she didn’t get to experience as much when she graduated high school.

“So it’s nice to watch her in school and at the prom and choosing college, things of that nature,” Jennifer said. “I couldn’t be more proud — she tries so hard. It really is an achievement on her part and on our part as a family because we set down goals and then accomplish them.”