For Dawnette Mackey, her roots as a student at North Hardin High School go back to her grandmother.
Born in Lexington, the 16-year-old said she has lived her entire life in Radcliff. His grandmother, Mary Richardson, was an NHHS teacher.
Mackey is currently attending Early College and Career Center Academy as a junior with a focus on the science path as well as criminal justice courses.
Mackey chose the suit because she wants to become a forensic scientist. With this route, she will be able to graduate from high school with an associate degree in science.
Mackey said she had always been intrigued by the criminal justice system and wanted to contribute to it with her love of science and math.
Mackey is also involved with the NHHS JROTC and is part of the Drill Team, JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl, Archery, Rifle Team, Flag Team and of the guard of honor.
Her mother, Catrina Parker, was also part of the NHHS JROTC program, which is how she found out. She has been in the program since her first year.
Mackey said she wasn’t sure she wanted to continue in the military after high school, but it’s a definite option.
Throughout his life, Mackey has said that his mother and grandmother were two of his biggest influences.
She said her mother is one of her best friends and that she has been a big influence on her love of music and the arts and crafts.
âShe always finds new things to do, which is really inspiring, because it just shows that if I want to do something, I can always do it. Like it’s never impossible for me to do anything, âMackey said.
Parker is currently in graduate school and will be graduating with his Masters in March.
Mackey said it was difficult last year not to be able to see his grandmother due to quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.
âShe basically taught me how to be a leader,â Mackey said.
Mackey said she enjoys working more “behind the scenes” and being alone while contributing to the group’s goals.
However, she occupies more managerial positions and said that she is learning to command a team for military exercise competitions and looks forward to eventually commanding her own team.
At school, Mackey said she does her best to stay centered during class discussions or debates and tries to be a mature role model.
âI just want to be able to show people that it’s okay for everyone to be different,â she said. “I just want everyone to feel heard.”
Last summer Mackey worked with the North Hardin main office as a student aid and is currently employed at TJ Maxx.
Outside of school, Mackey plays bass in the Lifeline Assembly of God youth group.
Mackey said she plans to attend college at Eastern Kentucky University to study in its forensic criminal justice department, majoring in forensic chemistry or forensic science, with the end goal possible to work for the FBI.
She said she was particularly interested in living and working in Washington, DC