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Thursday, February 20, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Father’s death intensified NC senior’s desire to attend college

North Central High School senior Kiarra Thompson has been on the golf team all four years of high school. She talks about her furure plans at the school in Spokane on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
North Central High School senior Kiarra Thompson has been on the golf team all four years of high school. She talks about her furure plans at the school in Spokane on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
By Kendra Andrews For The Spokesman-Review

North Central senior KiArra Thompson will be one of the first to say that your life can change overnight.

When she was a freshman, Thompson’s father suddenly died of a heart attack. To say that everything happens for a reason is a stretch but this incident, as difficult as it was, provided Thompson with a new form of motivation and drive to make her late father proud.

“When I walk across the graduation stage, it will definitely be for him,” Thompson said.

Then she’ll be a first-generation college student. Attending a university was something that both of her parents wanted her to do since she was a child. Because neither of Thompson’s parents attended college, they didn’t know how the process worked. But Thompson found the support she needed through AVID, a higher education readiness program for students who are typically first-generation college students.

“[AVID] provides students support and knowledge on college and how to get there,” Thompson said. “I loved it because a lot of the kids that were there my freshman year were there my senior year so it has become a sort of family.”

On top of that, Thompson also has been a member of her school dance team and golf team.

Dancing came out of a whim for Thompson.

“I’m a pretty quiet person,” Thompson said. “So dance gives me a way to express myself in front of people without actually talking.”

Thompson’s passion for golf was something she developed after her father died.

“We were cleaning out our garage, and I found some of his golf clubs,” she said. “I thought that if I played golf it would give me some kind of connection to my dad. I never golfed with him, but some of the clubs I golf with now were his, so, it just allows me to feel connected to him.”

Thompson plans to continue her two hobbies at Whitworth University after first semester, which she wants to spend adjusting to the college lifestyle and class load in hopes of pursuing a degree in biological chemistry.

Learning to juggle her busy schedule has set Thompson up for success at college. She hopes to make both of her parents proud, particularly her father, by doing something they were not able to do themselves.

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