Martial arts and a herd of rabbits keep a Copperas Cove home-schooled senior on her feet and hopping.
Katie Eacrett, 17, cares for more than 20 rabbits through her 4-H rabbit project. She also maintains two bee hives and cares for a dog and numerous cats. Eacrett wants to be a veterinarian and attend Texas A&M University in the fall.
“I have done a lot of medical work with my rabbits, caring for them when they get injured or have diseases and getting them ready for the shows,” said Eacrett, who spends at least 10 hours a week working with her rabbits.
Eacrett also has a blue belt in Brazilian Jujitsu. She has taken lessons the last four years at a local academy.
She is home-schooled along with her brother, Daniel, and maintains a “B” grade point average. Eacrett serves as an ambassador for Coryell County 4-H, where she is also active with home economics. She is a member of the Copperas Cove 4-H Club.
“She’s very outgoing and not afraid to try anything,” said Shane Martin, Coryell County 4-H extension agent. “She does what she can to make everything around her better.”
Only two ambassadors are chosen per club with selection based on leadership qualities and community service efforts. As an ambassador, Eacrett will handle 4-H promotions, plan and execute community service projects and make public presentations about 4-H, Martin said.
“Katie is ideal to represent the voice of 4-H.”
Eacrett participates in numerous community projects including laying wreaths at the Central Texas State Veterans’ Cemetery and several environmental projects. She volunteers with Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful and helped build a bird/butterfly/bat/bee garden on Fort Hood. She also cleaned the Copperas Cove City Park as part of the Texas Trash-Off event.
“4-H kids do a lot of really cool stuff and it’s fun,” said Eacrett, who joined the organization in 2006.
Since she is home-schooled, 4-H also provides Eacrett with a social outlet with other teens, as does the home school cooperative with its teen club, game nights, movie nights and barbecues.
Eacrett said the only disadvantage to home schooling is trying to keep track of her grades to complete college applications.
“Teachers take care of it for you in public school,” Eacrett said. “In home schooling, I have to do it myself.”