Nathan Clark, a Marshall County High School senior, isn't one to let an obstacle stand in his way.
When he was 12, Clark was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines. But with determination and zeal, Clark has endured, pursuing success and unlocking his potential.
While in high school, Clark has maintained straight A's, currently has a 4.17 grade-point average, is enrolled in the National Society of High School Scholars, and is in Marshall County's gifted and talented program. All of this despite having to make monthly trips to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee.
Clark said he intends to continue succeeding academically.
"I plan to further my education with an undergraduate degree in business management and finish with a law degree to go into corporate law," he said.
Although his disease is managed, Clark said he's not yet in remission.
"Even through the challenges of Crohn's Disease, I continue to persevere to be successful in life and school," he said. "I believe this has made me a stronger person with a much greater work ethic, attitude and appreciation for life."
Clark, the son of Eric and Michele Clark, is the Paducah Bank Teen of the Week.
Every week in the online edition and Tuesday in the print edition, The Sun features a teen selected from nominees submitted by guidance counselors throughout the region.
Near the end of the school year, one of the students profiled will be named Teen of the Year and will receive a $5,000 scholarship. An additional student will be chosen for an Inspiration Award and receive a $1,000 scholarship.
In all four years of his high school experience, Clark has been in a leadership class by maintaining a 3.5 or above GPA, excellent behavior, and recommendations from teachers. He is a member of Future Business Leaders of America, Kindness Club, Student Y, Kentucky Youth Assembly, and Kentucky United Nations Assembly.
Although he played on the baseball team and ran track his freshman year, Clark said he quickly learned that his true athletic passion was golf, which has proven to be a good leadership outlet.
"As the only senior on the team, I felt responsible for maintaining a positive role model to the players that ranged as young as middle school," he said.
Marshall County's golf team had a successful year, winning the regional tournament and advancing to the state tournament in October.
"We advanced to the second day and ended the season as 10th in the state of Kentucky," Clark said. "This will be a memory I will cherish the rest of my life."
Although Clark said his accomplishments have not always come easily as he struggles with Crohn's, he prides himself on his educational success and plans to study finance on a pre-law track at the University of Kentucky this fall.