Hannah Katz – High School Student On A Mission!
Today on Sahar’s Monday Morning Blog on Tuesday, I would like to introduce the dynamic Hannah Katz, a high school student who has selflessly devoted her young life in the service of helping others while also engaging in a myriad of exciting activities towards building a future career.
Hannah, so happy to have you here today! Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Hannah Katz, and I am a 16-year-old honors student at Moravian Academy College Preparatory School in Bethlehem, PA. There, I engage in programs such as the Student Ambassador Program, Pride Mentor Programs, varsity soccer, and numerous clubs. These organizations include Model Congress, Model UN, and Operation Smile. For Model Congress, I (along with other excelling students) spent a weekend at Rutgers University to represent a state in a Congress-style debate. This past summer (2016) I became further involved with Operation Smile. I traveled to San Diego, California to participate in the International Student Leadership Conference.
In the past, I was a promotional model for a 501C3 known as Beauty Against Bullying. Furthermore, I am a star dance student and company performer at Gigi and Company Dance Studio and recently received a teaching position there. I am currently employed at Zen Fusion Haitian and Asian Cuisine, a rated 4.5-star restaurant in Delaware Water Gap. For now, I am taking my life day-by-day, future in mind. I am excited to be one of the Sistahs on Sistah Chat Radio, and I hope to reach out to those who need my advice and wisdom.
As a youth member of Sistah Chat Radio on 96.7 FM and Gynesis Radio, can you explain to the readers what Sistah Chat is, and as a voice for and representative of the youth, what message do you hope to bring to the table?
To me, Sistah Chat is a live radio show that reaches out to those who are looking to find their voice. We address topics concerning violence, social interactions, inner stability, etc. Every week we reach out to new people. To us, that is a blessing because our goal is to be there for all kinds of people that need us. As one of the youth, my goal is to be a friend. I am not on the show to tell people what I think they should do; I am here to share what I do with myself to make me an overall more confident and positive individual. What works for me might not work for someone else, and that is why we are such a diverse group of women; because we all have different things to offer! I am here to be a shoulder to lean on for the youth (and older of course!) and to simply be a friend. That’s all.
You are also part of an amazing organization called, Operation Smile, an organization that “works to repair childhood facial deformities by delivering safe, effective surgery and related medical care directly to patients.” Can you share with us more about the incredible work they do and what got you interested in working with them?
Like many, my dream is to help people. Operation Smile is a non-profit organization that offers free, safe reconstructive surgery to children (and adults) who suffer from birth defects and deformities that prevent them from leading a healthy and happy day-to-day life. We travel all over the world to give surgeries. I heard about the organization entering my freshman year of high school and instantly wanted to become involved. Upon joining my school club, I met more people with the same interest of helping people. I then learned about the International Student Leadership Conference and decided to enroll and participate. There, I learned about more stories of patients along with meeting incredible and successful people from all over the world.
That’s incredible dedication. What’s your next step in this journey?
The next step in my personal mission to go on a mission and play with the patients and prep them for surgery. The people I know that went claimed it was “the experience of a lifetime”, and I wouldn’t doubt it for a second. When I reach another $240.00 in my fundraising, I am changing another life. I cannot have a better feeling than knowing just that. [Each surgery costs $240.00]
What are your plans upon graduation? Do you know what you would like to study after high school?
Since I was little, I wanted to be a speech-language pathologist. I still have hopes of doing that, but I would also like to learn more about law and somehow become involved in that field if I can. Upon graduation, I want to go to college! I do not have a particular school decided on as I still need to apply, but I definitely have a few in mind.
Are there any other projects you are working on?
As far as projects go, I am really looking to expand my dance school. I would like for the dance company to connect with Operation Smile and have a dance marathon or performance to benefit the organization. Now that I am a teacher at Gigi and Company Dance, I will be able to have a stronger impact on what happens, and I would like an OpSmile fundraiser to definitely be one of those things. As far as everything else goes, I am counting my blessings and keeping each one in my pocket.
To learn more about how to get involved with OperationSmile: operationsmile.org, or to learn about how to attend as a student or adult student sponsor, visit their website at: operationsmile.org/studentprograms.
Still have questions? You can also find them on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest or Phone 1-888-677-6453 or 1-888-OPSMILE
For those interested in contacting Hannah about OpSmile or Sistah Chat Radio: Facebook- @hwkatz
Instagram- @_hannahkatzSnapchat- @hannah_katz