Kennard Senior Accepted to Brown University

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

KENNARD – As the spring semester begins, local seniors put the finishing touches on what they hope will the beginning of their push into adulthood. Some will find jobs, some will apprentice to learn a skilled trade, some will play sports and for many, the wait begins to receive word from their university of choice if were accepted and will be expected next fall. 

While any college degree is only as good as the knowledge the student gained while earning it, for Kennard Senior Emily Farmer, the school looking forward to receiving her next fall is Brown University, considered one of the top schools in the country. 

While going on to any college is a privilege, with an acceptance rate of about 6%, Brown is in the top tiers of American universities. The Messenger had to find out more about this remarkable young lady, and the long road from Kennard High School to the prestigious ivy-league institution. 

This reporter fist came across Farmer last year, enjoying her performance as the lead in the Kennard One Act Play entry. Farmer played an upper-class Englishman, going out on the high seas for big adventures. Funny, outgoing, even with a believable British accent, Farmer was a standout on the stage and as it turned out, in the classroom, too. 

Moving to Kennard from the Kansas City suburbs, Farmer wasn’t quite sure what to think about coming to Texas at the young age of 10. 

“When I pictured Texas, I was thinking tumbleweed like the Great West. When I saw pine trees, I was just flabbergasted,” Farmer laughed. “It’s a lot smaller than the area I grew up in.”

With school and friends and hobbies, Farmer quickly grew accustomed to her surroundings, making the Kennard area “home.” 

“What makes Kennard different is everyone here is connected. We’re such a close-knit community because we are so small,” Farmer explained. “Everybody knows everybody, everybody knows when something’s going on. If you had a family emergency, you’d have three people with casseroles waiting outside your door. That’s just how Kennard is and I think there’s something so special about that.”

Even in the small world of Kennard schools, Farmer has been a big player, Student Council President and her class Vice-President this year, with acting, softball, FFA, FHA and other activities and keeping the grades up, as well. She is taking psychology and sociology college-level classes with the Kennard ISD dual credit system and has enjoyed those classes the most, saying, “It’s so interesting to see how the brain works!”

Farmer acknowledged growing up in a big school in a big city would surely have had its advantages, but confirmed what many students and parents already know – kids in small schools are able to participate in many more and different events – having fun, to be sure, but also able to explore different activities and discover their talents and passions. 

“I feel like I wouldn’t have had the incentive to push myself as much, to be honest, because while I was here, I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in so many things, when in a larger school, I’d only be involved in one or two. But I’ve been involved in pretty much anything Kennard has been able to offer me.  I’ve been able to try more things than I normally would, so it’s definitely been interesting,” Farmer said. 

Traveling over the summer to Washington D.C., thanks to the Houston County Electric Co-Op Youth Tour, Farmer networked with other kids her age who told her about some of the programs available to outstanding students from rural areas. Figuring, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained,’ she applied for the program, with Brown University being the top of her list of colleges, if she qualified. 

Figuring it was a bit of daydreaming and most likely too good to be true, Farmer was shocked when she received the email – Brown would love to have her as one of their students. 

The small, private university was founded in 1764, with about 10,000 students and specializes in math and engineering, among other studies. Located in far away Providence, Rhode Island, it is still somewhat of a mystery to Farmer, who although happy she is done with working to get into college, still hasn’t found time to make her first visit. 

“They are getting two feet of snow there, right now,” Farmer said. “That’s a lot.”

Set to visit for the first time in April, Farmer will need to submit some final paperwork after this semester and then she’s off the ivy-leagues. Does she worry how a small town girl will fit in among the jet-setters and modern Brown students, from all over the world?

Farmer, mature for her age and secure in herself, took the question in stride. 

“Even Rhode Island has small towns. But I think the general conception would be that it’s probably a more progressive, liberal place,” Farmer noted. “Going to an institution that’s so diverse and so open…I’m not afraid of that.”

Farmer is still unsure what her eventual major or profession may be and plans to feel her new life out and the classes offered, before deciding. 

She does know one thing for sure – she will miss the small town, the local life and those many people she has grown up with. 

“I’m probably going to miss the people most, because I’ve fostered so many good relationships with people here. There’s so many people that I’m really good friends with who I’ve known the entire time I’ve grown up and now I’m not going to get to see them,” Farmer said. “That’s going to be a big change.”

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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