- Hannah Kate Ferguson
- Mount Vernon Presbyterian School
Hannah Kate Ferguson has a passion for helping at-risk children.
In eighth grade, Hannah Kate began to work with Los Ninos Primero, an organization at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church that works with Latino children. The organization focuses on keeping them in school, while also helping their parents become legal citizens.
Hannah Kate has seen many students enter the program and graduate a few years later, and believes that there are many advantages to helping them.
“It is a great feeling because you know that they will go and do great things,” she said. “They definitely have a great impact on me.”
The kids at Los Ninos Primero strengthened Hannah Kate’s desire to help other children who are in a similar situation. In 2010, she traveled to Honduras on a mission trip and volunteered at a local orphanage. Last summer, Hannah Kate continued her journey and traveled to Zambia.
“There were so many good things that went on,” she said. “My favorite was probably [how] we really got to connect with the children on a more personal level.”
Children in Zambia had lost parents to diseases such as AIDS. Hannah Kate was shocked when she saw 7-year-olds and 8-year-olds raising and caring for their younger siblings. “To see the love and care that these children had for their younger siblings was amazing,” she said. “Truly ‘kids raising kids.’”
These experiences opened Hannah Kate’s eyes, and, as she said her sister once described her, have made her more “globally compassionate.”
Hannah Kate feels that “traveling to Zambia and Honduras has made me aware that there are children everywhere that need to be given help, given care, and shown God’s love.”
At school, Hannah Kate is the “Head Prefect,” similar to class president at other schools. She oversees the other prefects, and all together, they represent and encourage the student body.
“It has definitely been a big leadership roll,” she said. “You have to learn to be tough sometimes and to not care about what everyone is thinking when you are doing the right thing.”
Krista Parker, Dean of Students and head of the prefect system,describes Hannah Kate as someone everyone looks up to. “She brightens the school with her compassion,” Parker said. “I cannot tell you how many times I have seen her reach out to kids who seem down.”
Hannah is also a member of the basketball and cheerleading squads.
Hannah Kate plans to attend a college in Georgia next year. She hopes to major in early childhood education and minor in Spanish.
Hannah Kate says that her work with children has solidified her future plans. “What I do know – what I am absolutely positive of though – is that God’s purpose for my life is to work with at-risk children.”