Jaycee Shelton

Founds pep club at Meadow Heights

Last year while she was in middle school, Jaycee Shelton attended high school athletic events and realized there weren’t a lot of students in the crowd. This was in contrast, she says, to what she saw at other schools, where students in the stands dressed up in themed costumes and looked like they had a lot of fun at games.

She decided to do something about it, and she and her sister started talking about how much fun it would be if their school had a pep club. This year as a freshman at Meadow Heights High School, Jaycee decided to start one and talked to other students at her school, asking them to sign up if they were interested. When she had approximately 50 signatures, she took the idea and signatures to the principal, who thought it was a good idea, too.

“[Before we had a pep club,] you could tell that the athletes would get down on themselves, and there’s nobody there to pick them up,” Jaycee says. “[Now, the pep club does] beach themes and frat boy [themes]. We all come and support. It’s really fun. It’s a good environment, and you can tell it hypes people up more and makes them more excited on the court.”

An athlete herself, Jaycee has played volleyball since the third grade and basketball since the fourth grade. This year as a freshman, she is on the varsity volleyball and basketball teams.

Her volleyball coach Bailey Kennedy is her role model; Jaycee says her coach has always been on her side.

“She’s always reassuring, because it definitely can be hard when you play sports with juniors and seniors [as a freshman], trying to compete with them and be at their level, if not more, just trying to prove everybody that I deserve to be there,” Jaycee says. “She’s really supportive. I love her so much.”

In addition to sports, Jaycee is in Student Council; Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA); and Beta Club, where she has competed at the state and national levels in English Language Arts (ELA), Creative Composition and Speech. She says she enjoys being involved in her community and school and likes to encourage others to be, too: She invites her friends to join clubs and go to events with her, which she says makes it more enjoyable.

In the future, Jaycee plans to give back to the community that is shaping her through becoming a teacher and teaching at Meadow Heights. She says she wants adults to know they shouldn’t doubt young people, but rather, get to know more about them, because a lot of young people can “do more than what [adults] think we can do.”

Perseverance is a key tenet she lives her life by.

“Don’t stop believing in yourself,” Jaycee says, “because it’s really easy to get down on yourself when you’re unmotivated, but you’ve just got to keep trying and trying again, and eventually, you’ll get it.”

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