Hadleigh Pittman has long entertained the notion of becoming an interior designer and she knows the way to get there is through hard work and determination.
As a rising freshman at Evans High School, Hadleigh says that putting extra effort into her academic endeavors will chart her future.
"It determines your life," she said of her academic success. "If you do well in school, you can get in a good college and have a good career."
Hadleigh earned the highest grade point average of all female athletes at Evans Middle School last year, garnering her a coveted award during the school's annual sports banquet. The honor, which was kept a surprise, was a defining moment for Hadleigh.
"I had no idea," said the 14-year-old daughter of Jerry and Sandy Pittman of Martinez. "Wow!"
It is Hadleigh's quiet demeanor that makes the once-shy pupil all the more appealing. It is in the past year that Hadleigh has grown into a more independent young woman, one of her teachers said.
"She is so sweet and wonderful," said Wendy Baggott, Hadleigh's chorus teacher at Evans Middle School. "She's one of the few kids that I have taught that I'd let babysit my children."
Her responsibility, coupled with her strong desire to do well, is what garnered her so much attention at the middle school.
There she was on the cheerleading team and a member of the Junior Beta Club.
At Evans High, Hadleigh will be a member of the school's junior varsity cheerleading squad, where she will perform at junior varsity football and basketball games.
Hadleigh's first foray into cheerleading was during her eighth-grade year. When asked why she chose cheerleading, the only sport she has ever participated in, she said she simply enjoyed it.
"It's just so much fun and you get to try out so many stunts," she said, adding that she helped teach during the recent Evans High School cheerleading camp for young girls.
When Hadleigh isn't busy on the field cheering on her favorite team, she can be found reading or volunteering at Westside Baptist Church, where she is a member.
However, what Hadleigh really enjoys is watching HGTV, where she got her first glimpse at what the design world is all about.
"I was flipping the channels one day and came across HGTV," she said. "Ever since, I've been hooked and now it's my favorite channel."
She's always been a creative person, Hadleigh said, adding, "I really want to be an interior designer. I saw it on HGTV and said, 'That sounds like fun.' "
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