The March Junior Rotarian being honored by the Rotary Club of Altus has been a state champion track runner, received superior ratings for state solo/ensemble concerts and, by the way, just happened to be the runner up to Miss Altus this year after serving as the Miss Altus Outstanding Teen.
Bethany Garrison, daughter of Robert and Rhonda Garrison, was also the Altus High School Homecoming Queen this fall and started a support group, Keep Positive Always, that encourages students to feel good about themselves.
Through that Keep Positive Always group, Garrison said she tries to mentor those who are struggling or who simply need guidance.
She has also studied dance for 14 years at Off the Wall Dance Productions where she now helps mentor younger dancers. Of course, her talent portion in Miss Altus and Miss Oklahoma Outstanding Teen included a dance routine. In the Miss Oklahoma Outstanding Teen competition, her first attempt at local and state pageants, she was awarded the Rookie Talent Award in the statewide contest.
And she has used her dance talent to perform as a select dancer in all-school productions the last three years.
Other club and team involvement includes the Link Crew, two years; cross-country state qualifier, two years; state track and field four-time medalist and one-time state champion; Altus High School Dance Team, two years; Altus Student Education Association, four years; K.A.Y. Club, three years including two years as vice president; and in the Varsity Chorale two years and the Bluharmonix, one year.
Her other awards include the Principal’s and Superintendent’s honor roll; the Sheridan’s Shining Star Award’; AHS Top Dog Award; the Vype Character Counts Award; and the Leadership Award for cross country and track.
Garrison said serving as Miss Altus Outstanding Teen provided her a platform to encourage young girls to get involved in community service as she participated in helping with the Sheridan Sunshine Foundation, the Glow Run that raises money for cancer research and the University of Oklahoma Children’s Hospital where she delivered gifts to young cancer patients.
She plans to attend the University of Central Oklahoma where she plans to study psychology and eventually obtain a doctorate to pursue a career as a psychologist. “I have studied the human brain in my (Advanced Placement) psychology class at AHS and I have studied mental health issues as part of my Miss Altus Outstanding Teen Pageant platform, ‘Your Life Matters.’”
Garrison plans to run track and cross country at UCO. Her chance to be a part of Altus’ defending state 4X400-meter relay team is currently in question because the state high school activities association may cancel all statewide competition due to the coronavirus.
Junior Rotarians attend weekly Rotary meetings for a month and give a report on activities at the high school at the end of his or her month. Junior Rotarians receive a $500 scholarship from the Rotary Club of Altus. The Altus Times features each Junior Rotarian.