Student Spotlight: High school senior fighting teen pregnancy

Student Spotlight: High school senior fighting teen pregnancy

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A senior at Carolina Forest High School affected by the flooding after Hurricane Matthew continues to persevere despite the adversities that arise while being displaced.

Kathryn Martin refuses to let her circumstances affect her ability to succeed. Just last October, she and her family were evacuated from their home for 20 days due to the historic flooding.

They stayed at a Myrtle Beach motel and had to travel to Carolina Forest and Conway so both Martin and her sister could get to their respective schools.

Fast forward to October 2016 and Martin and her family are once again displaced due to flooding from Hurricane Matthew.

Martin said their home on Lee's Landing Circle in Conway is surrounded by water, and the only way they can get to it home is by boat. Instead, the family has been staying with friends in Carolina Forest.

Initially, neither Martin or her relatives were sure where they would go when it came time to evacuate.

"It was difficult to pack at first, because we didn't know where we were going," she said. "We had an idea, but we didn't know how long we were going to stay there."

Amazingly, despite the major disruptions and inconveniences these floods have caused in her life, Martin refuses to use them as excuses.

"I'm a senior and I can't miss out," she said. "I can't just miss out because people need me in these clubs and organizations that I'm in, because people need me. They look up to me, they need Kat Martin."

According to one of her CFHS teachers, Martin has proven she is capable of balancing and excelling at school and participating in extracurricular activities.

Martin said she's trying to change the world. Her strongest passion right now is teen pregnancy prevention, serving as an ambassador for the National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Campaign.

She also serves as state representative for South Carolina's "Not Right Now-Put Pregnancy on Pause" campaign. She is a Horry County representative for Coastal Carolina OBGYN's "Take Control" course and has traveled to Columbia to participate in the South Carolina Summer Institute for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

"It was an issue that needed to be resolved. I saw that there were too many teen pregnancies, too many reoccurring teen pregnancies," said Martin.

In addition, Martin is also a teen ambassador and sex educator for Teen Pregnancy Prevention, Drug and Alcohol Use and Abuse Prevention. She said her peers often text her or send messages on Facebook to talk about sexual health, adding that most don't want to talk to someone older and she she is more relatable.

For her, life is temporarily not normal. She and her family take a boat every couple of days to their home to check on it and to retrieve items they need.

But even while she's displaced, Martin is thinking about others. Just this week, she started a new club at CFHS called the Random Acts of Kindness.

She said the past few weeks has been difficult, but she often encourages herself to keep going. Her younger sister is also an inspiration.

"I don't want her (sister) to see me give up.  I don't want her to have the only person - the only big sister that she has - that helps her through everything not be able do it herself," Martin said. "I want my mother to use me as a balance. I wouldn't want her to see me get upset. I wouldn't want my brother and stepfather to get upset either."

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