Scholar of the Week

Kaitlyn Masiak      
George Mason University

Kaitlyn Masiak is an incoming sophomore pursuing a biology degree at George Mason University. A Class of 2014 HENAAC Scholar, she received a $1,000 scholarship sponsored by NASA Langley Research Center.

A graduate of Gloucester High School, consistently on the honor roll, a life-changing experience threw Kaitlyn into the role of the “little adult” in her family. She took on the role of a second mother for her two younger siblings - caring for them, cleaning, putting them to bed, and helping with homework, as well as looking after her mother. While in high school, Kaitlyn worked each summer at Captain Johnny’s Seafood, and in her senior year worked at Damon and Company,, where she learned how to use QuickBooks and account management. Her family situation threw her into a whirlwind of finances, where she had to pay her own cell phone, car insurance, all the fees associated with playing tennis for the school, and eventually her own car. For Kaitlyn, who is “quiet but appropriately expressive when needed,” her teenage years were not as carefree.

However, despite the adversaries, Kaitlyn remained focused on her studies, taking the most advanced Calculus and science courses her school offered. For Kaitlyn, education did not equate with success it meant a chance, a chance to help her family.

Kaitlyn’s interests are psychology and mental health issues in youth. Thus her career goal is to go to medical school and become a psychiatrist. In fact, her journey into the field of psychology began with her senior research project: Mental Health in Relation to Youth and Addiction. The project addressed the lack of awareness of mental illness through a research paper, presentation, and a fundraiser for her local chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). The fundraiser at The Cutting Edge Salon of Gloucester High School, raised over $250.00.

Of interest, Kaitlyn also has a cosmetology License, which she earned while in high school. As a member of the NJROTC, she offered free haircuts and she also volunteered at the Puller Center offering free salon services.

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