Altamont Athletics Interviews with Maya Kitchens
Maya Kitchens, an 11th grade student at The Altamont School in Birmingham, Alabama, has always been fascinated with football: “Weekends on the couch watching games on TV with my Dad, I grew to love the sport. I was especially interested in the work of the journalists reporting on the game. I came to realize that sports journalism was something I wanted to pursue in college and as a career. So I thought, ‘Why not start now?’”
Maya aims to turn her on eye on athletics at Altamont. Every week she will interview different student-athletes at the school, providing a glimpse into their interests, talents, current hobbies and future aspirations. “I want these stories to be personal,” she said. “I know these people. I go to class with them. I can make observations that may have a bigger impact.”
When she’s not writing about sports, Maya volunteers at Children’s Hospital of Alabama. She is currently in the middle of a month-long drive to gather new games and activities to keep children staying at the hospital busy and focused on something other than their illnesses. At Altamont, she is a participant in the Miree Leadership Center and the co-leader of Altamont’s chapter of GirlSpring. Maya also plays the violin, has a second-degree black belt in karate and is an Indian Classical Folk Fusion dancer.
Follow her on Twitter @MayaKitchens
This week’s senior spotlight is on Rachel Wright. Rachel plays girls varsity soccer and girls varsity basketball at The Altamont School. Previously, Rachel played volleyball, soccer, and basketball in middle school. Rachel is the goal keeper on the soccer field and a starter on the basketball court. She started attending Altamont in the sixth grade and started playing sports halfway through her seventh-grade year.
Rachel’s favorite sport that she is involved in is basketball. Rachel’s favorite sports memory is just being on the basketball team this year. She explained that “the team was really close. We had a lot more success this year than I’ve experienced in the past, and we were able to enjoy that together.” This season, the girls’ varsity basketball team made it to the AHSAA Class 2A State tournament where they appeared in the Sweet Sixteen. While in college, Rachel hopes to play intramural or club soccer. She also wants to pursue a field in French.
When Rachel is not on the court or the field, she sings in the choir at her church, has a part-time job, and leans more towards alternative music and the musical artist, Billie Eilish. She is also a part of the C. Kyser Miree Ethical Leadership Program. Her service project consisted of hosting supply drives for Girls Inc., who “advocates for legislation and policies to increase opportunities and rights for all girls.” Rachel has also won numerous awards from the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition for her digital art and mixed media. Her favorite book changes frequently but is currently Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson. Her favorite classes are French and Physics.
Sports have helped Rachel be herself and become more outgoing. “Without sports, I’m a pretty shy person but the past couple of years I’ve been the captain of the basketball team or one of the older people, so I’ve had to step up,” she says. Rachel also says that being on a sports team has provided her with more friends that enjoy the same sport that she does.