Paducah Tilghman High School senior Leah Tyrrell has a passion for global politics and looks to explore a career in international relations.
“I really would love one day to be able to work with the government and be able to see the ‘behind the scenes’ of, basically, like the news,” she said. “That’s always been really interesting to me and, like, the inner workings of different countries, the politics in different countries, the cultures, the economy and just how all that fits together and makes the world work the way it is.”
The 17-year-old student said she would like to work for the FBI — perhaps in a capacity that investigates international or terroristic threats, crimes committed by diplomats on American soil and other types of issues and concerns. She’s interested in chemistry, too, and that’s another possible major for Tyrrell.
“I’m looking at a couple of colleges in D.C. — mainly American University,” she said. “I’m applying to University of Virginia. That’s definitely one of my top schools. Boston College and Notre Dame are probably my other two top schools.”
Tyrrell, the daughter of Michele and Dana Tyrrell of Paducah, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Every Monday and Tuesday, The Sun publishes profile stories on area high school seniors who are chosen from a group of nominees for Teen of the Week recognition. Around the end of the school year, a selection committee names one of these students as Teen of the Year, which carries a $5,000 scholarship. Another student will receive the Inspiration Award and a $1,000 scholarship.
At Paducah Tilghman, Tyrrell ranks among the top 10 of the class with a weighted cumulative grade-point average above 4.2. She earned a 33 composite ACT score and was recognized as an AP Scholar with Distinction. Tyrrell also graduated from Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce’s Youth LEAD program and participated in the Paducah Pathfinders program.
She’s been an active part of the student body, as well.
Tyrrell is editor-in-chief of “The Tilghman Bell” and serves as vice president for National Honor Society, among other activities. She was captain for the varsity girls soccer team during her junior and senior years. Tyrrell, who played as a center back, received several team accolades, such as defensive MVP.
For Tyrrell, the team captain role isn’t just someone who can tell teammates, “Hey, you need to do this,” or “Hey, you need to make sure you’re warming up by now.” It’s more leading by example and being approachable.
“It’s really like — for me — not necessarily just being a friend to them, but being someone that they can look up to, but also feel comfortable to approach and talk to,” she said. “If they need anything, I want them to feel comfortable asking me.”
Tyrrell, who joined the soccer team as a junior, previously participated on Tilghman’s varsity swim team and the Paducah Swim Team. She decided to switch it up and just loved soccer. She aims to play recreationally in college and she’s excited about being in a new environment and meeting new people.
“It’s been a weird senior year,” she said. “But I think that it’s still been OK, just because I’ve been able to appreciate everything that I do have — those days in school, my friends and the teachers that are working so hard to give us the best online schooling that they can.”
By: Kelly Farrell