CHHS senior is focused and determined to succeed

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Morgan Catrett is focused and determined.

The Charles Henderson High School senior has very clear-cut goals for her future and the experience she needs to realize them.

"I want to be the next Katie Couric," the broadcast journalist-hopeful said.

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She is well on her way too. Catrett already has more experience in the field than a number of college students.

Every Wednesday night, Catrett volunteers for Mac's Southern Gospel Show, which airs on Troy Cable Channel 52.

And when most people are catching up on lost sleep, she works from 5-9 a.m. reading the news, weather, obituaries and taking calls for the radio version of Mac's Southern Gospel Show.

"Sometimes I wonder why I get up so early and I don't want to go in," she said.

"But once I get there, I enjoy myself."

She said one of the most fulfilling aspects of the radio show are the relationships she forms with the listeners who call in with stories, testimonies or requests.

She said she remembers the callers by the sound of their voices and is touched by their stories and anecdotes.

The callers in turn are touched that she remembers who they are each week.

"I'm good with names and people," she said.

Catrett also puts her smile and friendly demeanor to use as a teller at First National Bank in Brundidge, a job she works Monday through Saturday every week.

Catrett comes from a big family and knows she needs to work hard to achieve her goals.

The gospel show gives her the know-how and the bank gives her a way to "help my parents" pay the way to success.

But Catrett isn't completely on her own; her hard work in academics has earned her a number of scholarships.

So far, she has secured a $1,000 Future Business Leaders of America Scholarship, a $1,000 Miss Brundidge Scholarship, an Excellence in Leadership Scholarship to Troy State University and the Linley Heflin Scholarship which will award her $1,500 per year for four years.

The Linley Heflin Scholarship is open to women who are Alabama residents.

Catrett said 200 women applied, 117 were interviewed and 23 were selected to receive the scholarship.

She and her sister drove to Birmingham for the interview and even though the two had an eventful stay in a less-than-appealing "but still expensive" hotel, Catrett said the trip was worth it.

Catrett's charm and well-spoken answers also helped her win the title of Miss Brundidge.

She, along with Miss Troy Meghan Kelly, will compete at the Peanut Festival in Dothan.

Between jobs, scholarship applications and pageants, Catrett fills her time as editor of the CHHS yearbook, FBLA president, Key Club president and FBLA state vice president.

Catrett has all the support she needs for her involvement right at home.

The sixth of seven children, she said she has learned what to do and what not to do by watching her older brothers and sisters.

And, even though there is the occasional fight and an almost steady flow of activity, she said her family is her biggest supporter.

"They were all there when I was in the Miss Brundidge pageant," she said.

"It was nice to look out at the audience and see my own cheering section."