Intelligent, hardworking, kind and determined are only a few words out of many that describe Kristina Mertz, a graduating IHA senior who has left an outstanding imprint on IHA.
At IHA, Kristina’s name is synonymous with service. This Christian Service Board President feels her biggest commitment at IHA is Midnight Run, a program that is part of CARE. Through a Midnight Run, students provide food and clothing to the homeless in Manhattan and other nearby cities in the middle of the night. She explains that she developed an instant connection after participating on a run her freshman year. Since then she has become a group leader and has been taking part in it every time they do the good deed. Not only is she involved, but her family as well. Her parents and brother even assist for the love of helping others.
She is most widely known as the President of the Christian Service Board but her commitment goes much deeper. Kristina performed over 300 hours of service her last year at IHA, earning her the Presidential Gold Award for her number of hours and also the award for service for the homeless at IHA. Not only that, but she earned the Spirit of Service for the Class of 2014 as well.
Completing 300 hours of service did not all just come from feeding the homeless on the Midnight Run; she is active in plenty other activities too. Over the summer she works at a special needs camp two times a week and also appeared at some of the special needs dances at IHA..
Ms. Kearns the advisor of CARE states, “Kristina Mertz is one of the most dependable dedicated students I have met in my time here. She has a huge heart and is always looking to help others in any way she can. Her entire life is devoted to seeking ways in which she can serve those around her.”
Kristina’s role in helping others will not stop at IHA, she will continue that act as she pursues her college career. She will be attending Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee and will be majoring in nursing. She further elaborates that she chose nursing because she wants to work with kids who have special needs and wants to work in a medical environment that allows deeper interactions with the patients.
At IHA she enjoyed her science classes and was motivated to major in nursing partly because of those classes. She also volunteers at Valley Hospital outside of school. The empathetic young woman is sad to leave the IHA community but is excited to enter the college years to come. Her last words for the future students of IHA are, “Even though the work is hard, it prepared me for college and the real world. It helped me decide what I want to do after graduation. So become involved for the best high school experience.” Best of luck next year!