Senior profile: Grace Garner

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Senior profile: Grace Garner

Grace Garner is a social butterfly, a girl who can become friends with anyone and everyone, but she hasn’t always been this way. Walking through the doors of Kirkwood freshman year, Grace originally from St. Gerard Majella, was mixed with students who had known each other since kindergarten.

“Freshman year was kind of a struggle,” Grace said. “But I ended up liking it more than I thought I would. I thought it was unique that everyone was so tight-knit with each other and everybody acted like a big community.”

Grace said she does not have a specific friend group, just friends in different groups and likes getting to know new people.

“Friend groups definitely have their purpose because they’re the people you enjoy being around,’’ Grace said. “I just wish people were more open to knowing more people outside of their friend group. When you limit yourself to being friends with the same 10 people you’ve known since sixth grade, you may miss out on friends you might click with for other reasons.”

Libby Garner, Grace’s sister, said Grace had a difficult time adjusting to KHS. Now, more than ever, she is truly able to be herself with the friends she has.

“She can go from being kind of cranky, and then it’s like a switch and all of a sudden she’s a wise-crack funny girl again,” Libby said. “I love her ability to let go of things quickly.”

Leslie Benben, art teacher, taught Grace as a freshman and senior. Benben said Grace is more outgoing now and enjoyed seeing her grow in self-awareness and self-confidence.

“Grace sees people’s uniqueness and differences as their gifts,” Benben said. “She’s loud and vibrant and makes the space feel good. Her enthusiasm is really special. She has a positive outlook and she brightens up the room.”

Benben said no matter what, Grace includes everyone in the conversation. She makes sure everybody is involved and does not leave anybody feeling left out.

“She’s more interested in who people are, not necessarily what their social label is,” Libby said.  “Grace never really talks about someone’s social standing, she just refers to them by their name.”

Grace said she has learned over the past four years of high school not to judge a person based on who they hang out with. She said gotten to know people as individuals instead of who they associate themselves with.

“Try to find the people that you click within high school because they make it a lot easier to get through the tough times,” Grace said. “Keep an open mind and don’t shut yourself off from potential friends just from what you think their social standing is. It’s important not to limit yourself.”