SUMITON — Larken Box’s grandmother had a dream. She wanted a grandchild who graduated with honors and decorations. Even though Box was still a child, she told her grandmother, “I’ve got …
SUMITON — Larken Box’s grandmother had a dream. She wanted a grandchild who graduated with honors and decorations. Even though Box was still a child, she told her grandmother, “I’ve got this,” Box said. That wish shaped how Box carried herself and was a factor in why she has worked so hard throughout her life. Sumiton Christian School chose Box as one of the Outstanding Seniors for 2020.
Box, who lives in Dora, is the daughter of Jolene and David Box.
English and Math were Box’s strongest subjects. “I know it’s a weird combination, but calculus was fun for me, and I also liked to write,” Box said.
Box struggles with anxiety when it comes to getting in front of people she doesn’t know, and public speaking is difficult. “It’s pretty challenging,” she said. The issue became apparent in junior high school when things began changing for her. “You start figuring out what people in society expect of you, and I had a lot of issues with that,” she said.
An opportunity to participate in the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State leadership program this past summer helped Box deal with her anxiety. “It helped break me out of my shell,” she said.
During the gathering, Box ran for office, helped set up the government, and she performed other activities. “That put me with girls that I didn’t know, and that really helped me put my best foot forward in that situation,” she said.
Now, when Box sees someone else struggling with anxiety, she tries to reach out and help them through it.
Dealing with anxiety is why Box decided to pursue a career in psychology. She wants to help people navigate those difficult issues in their lives. “When I was younger, I didn’t know why I acted the way I did, so I want to show people that it’s not something that should be debilitating,” she said.
Troy University offered Box a Chancellor’s Choice Scholarship, which should pay for the tuition. She plans to study psychology, behavioral studies, and American sign language.
Proficiency with ASL would allow her to work with the hearing impaired. This group is often underserved because most people can’t communicate with them, according to Box. If someone who is deaf needs therapy, they usually need a translator. The person might not want to share intimate details with a therapist if they must use a translator.
Kelli Woodard was a mentor to Box. Woodard was her baton coach at SCS since second grade and helped show Box a love for the sport. “I’m dressed up because I have college tryouts today,” she said. Normally, tryouts for college are in person, but the coronavirus has changed the tryout process. If selected, Box will be a majorette for Troy University.
When asked why she thinks SCS chose her for the Outstanding Senior distinction, Box thought for a moment before answering. “I personally feel it was a hard decision to make because there are so many bright students at this school that they could have chosen,” she said. “I was in shock when they told me.” She thinks it was because she worked so hard to make her family proud, according to Box. “Hopefully, that is what I reflected at the school and in the community,” she said.
Some of the community projects include making blankets for the women’s shelter, and serving cleanup crew at her church (Sipsey Union,) and teaching baton to young girls at SCS. “They are so sweet, and they try really hard. My favorite thing is when they catch a trick for the first time, and they are so excited,” she said.
Box thinks her community service could have been a contributing factor as well. The annual Night to Shine dance at Bethel Baptist Church for special needs children was one of Box’s projects. “I love doing that dance because these kids hold a special place in my heart,” she said.
Box has been a majorette for SCS for several years, treasurer of the Honor Society, and she worked with the Eagles Ambassadors.
Like most seniors from the 2020 class, COVID-19 robbed them of a time that they all had looked forward to for most of their lives. “I really miss my friends,” she said.
If selected as one of the Troy majorettes, she will have the opportunity to do some traveling. That resonated with Box because she has not had the opportunity to travel as much as she would have liked.