Thomas Jefferson

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The Girl Who Does Everything

Posted 04/26/2023 by Makayla Vasquez

Kate is presented with flowers after another DECA success. photo by Matt Nicolo

One TJ senior has set herself up for success by getting involved in countless activities. 

Over the past four years, senior Kate Jordan Little has demonstrated her excellence and collected many achievements and extracurriculars. Her involvement at TJ has ranged from varsity sports, to clubs, to DECA. Now, she will be graduating and continuing onto college as a Boettcher Scholar in the fall. 

High school is never easy, so balancing a handful of extracurriculars while still maintaining a 4.7 GPA can be challenging. However, the rewards that come with competing, such as friendships and a sense of community, are what make Little do all that she does. “I’ve met friends that are going to be at my wedding,” said Little. With family and friends being a major influence on her life, Little uses them as a source of encouragement to get through tough times. Growing up in the middle of a busy and energetic family, she has experience with racing from one activity to the next. Her 23 year old sister, Molly, is one of Little’s biggest influences. Like many siblings, they have always been competitive with each other, but also end up being major influences on each other’s lives. Watching her older sister compete on swim and dive teams led Little to fall in love with the sport and eventually become very successful. She is a four year TJHS swim team member, qualifying for State in Swimming all four years. Little has also been the only girl out of all 3a 4A and 5a schools to qualify and compete in both swimming and diving at the state championship level two years in a row. Little explained that her motto in life, as well as swimming, is inspired by the movie Finding Nemo. “Just keep swimming,” she says.

In addition to making her parents and everyone who has supported her through her life proud, she mainly chases her dreams for her younger self. “I really do it for little kid Kate who was adamant that she was going to make a little bit of a difference in the world,” she explained. Of course, all of these achievements come with their own challenges. Little, however, defines failure as something that you learn and grow from – a mentality developed over years of both achievements and occasional failures. 

A major achievement of Little’s is achieving the role of Colorado DECA state President for her senior year, overseeing more than 7,500 high school DECA members across the state and running a board of 18 statewide officers. During her sophomore year, she ran to be a District three officer. The process included taking a test, making a speech and flier and then presenting that to a group of delegates who vote. The process was the same to become DECA president, and after being appointed, she was presented with the incredible opportunity of waving the Colorado flag at the International Career Development Conference in Atlanta in 2022. 

Little gives all credit to the DECA opportunities Mr. Nicolo has given her. Between going to western leadership conferences in Anaheim and being able to travel to different states to connect with thousands of other students, DECA has helped her figure out what she’s passionate about. TJ has granted her the opportunity of being able to play five sports while still participating in clubs and DECA. “TJ is basically Disneyland,” she said. “You can be anything and anyone you want to be.”  Part of high school is getting involved in different activities that allow you to make new friends, learn new skills and develop passions. She highly recommends getting involved and learning new skills that will forever be helpful in the future. 

After her senior year comes to an end, Little will attend CU Boulder to double major in Management and Entrepreneurship along with Environmental Science, which she hopes will lead her to getting her MBA, going to law school, and becoming an environmental policy lawyer. She will be a part of the Leeds School of Business and Leeds Scholar and Honors programs. She has received the Boettcher Scholarship, which is highly competitive and allows her to have a full ride to any college in the state. She says it is a “huge honor and dream to come true to be a Boettcher Business Buff. It is unreal to have two members of the family receive this scholarship,” as her sister also received this scholarship. In 10 years, she sees herself becoming a partner at a law firm and starting a political career. She wants to give back to the Colorado community by becoming a DECA judge and potentially coaching a local swim and dive team. Traveling and seeing the world is on her bucket list as well. “Be yourself, be bold, strong, courageous, and advocate for yourself,” said Little. “Be proud of who you are – who you are is good enough. You’re amazing. Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”