When students at Jamesville-DeWitt hear the name Kate Barclay, many words come to mind: student, athlete, leader. Maybe, totally normal teenage girl? In some ways, certainly. Born and raised in Syracuse and educated in the Jamesville-DeWitt School District, her childhood resembles that of many students at J-D. What sets Barclay apart, though, is her driven and charismatic personality, which is reflected in her seemingly never-ending list of exceptional achievements.
Starting from her childhood, at just six years old, Barclay began to hold high aspirations for her occupational future. Like many of her peers at the time, she wanted to be a princess. With the odds against her now, she has slightly adjusted her vision to become a cancer data research analyst.
Barclay knows she’ll need to work hard to one day achieve this goal. Consequently, she spends numerous hours on schoolwork each night, chasing only her best possible academic performance. Some subjects are more interesting to study than others. “My favorite subjects are math or science. More specifically Calculus and Biochemistry. I find the topics so interesting and genuinely enjoy completing the problems,” said Barclay. Challenge certainly is not one to discourage her.
Even in athletics, Barclay is not disheartened by the occasional obstacle. Barclay is a dedicated member of both the Girls Varsity Soccer and Girls Varsity Lacrosse teams here at Jamesville-DeWitt. At almost any given moment on the field, she is thinking of new and unique ways to adjust to her circumstances on the field as they are in a constant state of change.
When she’s not studying in the classroom or exercising on the turf, Barclay can be found participating in any of her countless extracurricular activities: Model United Nations, Key Club, Chinese Club, or Unified Friends. She even shares her knowledge with others as a tutor in her own company with senior Bobby Diel, known as Barclay Diel Tutoring.
Barclay undeniably resides among some of J-D’s finest leaders. “To be a leader is to set a positive example. No matter how it is achieved, the job of leading others is truly inspiring others.” Barclay’s leadership style, though, differs from that of others. “I strive to listen to and advocate for every voice within a group.” Even outside of the school community, Barclay remains a leader. Recently, she won the Syracuse Post Standard Central New York Best and Brightest Award. “I was beyond honored to be nominated and very surprised to receive it.”
Where does Barclay get this undying motivation? The answer is simple: her family. She has gained especially great inspiration from her oldest brother, Douglas, and her dad. Douglas has both Down syndrome and autism, and faces countless challenges every day. “He has taught me so much such as flexibility, empathy, and determination, but most importantly to appreciate and celebrate even the smallest accomplishments. He constantly inspires me to overcome obstacles and do more than I think I can,” says Barclay. Her dad is her biggest role model. “His persistence, determination, and wisdom are unrivaled and his unrelenting support has shaped me into the person I am today.”
Next year, Barclay will fulfill her family legacy at Cornell University, studying biometry and statistics. She was accepted into Cornell through the Early Decision Admissions program with the knowledge that she wanted to attend the university since kindergarten. “My parents are alumni and I was on campus quite often. I fell in love with the atmosphere.” Now, Barclay is ready for her own experience at Cornell. “I am excited to make meaningful connections and memories. Go Big Red!”
Although college will be an adjustment, Barclay is not a stranger to change. But instead of cowering in its presence, she has learned to embrace it. “I like to have a routine and have everything planned in my life. However, there are always external factors that I cannot control and I need to accept and embrace.” Barclay adds, “the best things are unplanned.”
The RamPage wishes the best of luck to Kate Barclay as she continues down her path of success!