By Iniya Nathan
When veteran sports journalist Joe Trahan speaks of Kendall Washington’s many accomplishments while introducing her as Scholar Athlete of the Week on WFAA, he does not list them all.
He does not have enough airtime to highlight this young lady’s multitude of achievements.
At Bishop Dunne Catholic School, Kendall is the President and Founder of Empowerment 101, President of African American Awareness, President of the Medical Society. a Lead Student Ambassador, Vice-President of the National Honor Society, and co-captain of the varsity cheer team. She is also on the Student Council and a member of the National Art Honor Society and American Sign Language Club.
Outside of school she volunteers for her community, is a Girl Scout and Vice-President of the Youth NAACP Dallas Chapter.
Aside from receiving Scholar Athlete of the Week, Kendall has received her Girl Scout Gold Award, 1st Place in the Desoto Essay Contest, and was a Catholic Foundation Recipient.
Dr. Christal-Joy “CJ” Turner, a former student of Kendall’s mother that kept close contact after college and whom Washington regards as a mentor, nominated her for Scholar Athlete of the Week.
“I saw an ad for it and immediately thought of Kendall,” Turner said. “She’s a very well-rounded individual mentally, academically and spiritually so she has a lot of stuff going on.
“So when I saw it, I immediately thought about her because she performs and excels academically as well as in sports.”
For her academic performance, she’s maintained high grades while also putting full effort and dedication to her extracurricular activities. She is ranked and is in Bishop’s Honor Roll, the highest honor roll at Bishop Dunne. She entered her senior year of high school, with two associate degrees.
“Kendall was my student during [the start] of COVID so she was an online student,” Dr. Diana Torres Rivera said. “She was very studious and was always up-to-date with her homework and classwork. She was also ready to participate.
“Sometimes the students at home, I would fear that they would feel disconnected but she was always participating in the class as if she had been in the room.”
Torres Rivera was Washington’s Spanish teacher during her sophomore and junior years of high school, and was in charge of the National Spanish Honor Society and the Latinos Unidos Club, which Washington joined and helped form a partnership with the African American Awareness society.
“In all of the student organizations and clubs she joins, she’s extremely driven,” Torres Rivera said. “She modeled what an inquisitive student should be. I’m a very rigorous teacher and she would always go above and beyond even my expectations, which are high.”
For some, being involved in the many activities Washington is in while maintaining good grades and having time to relax seems difficult, however Washington manages it.
“I’m so busy but I have so much time,” Washington said. “How do I do it? I really don’t know. I feel like I need to add more to my plate.”
And she does not slack off on her priorities.
“She manages her time so well,” said assistant cheer coach Dalila Macias, who has known Kendall since she was in Kindergarten. “We were up for this grant and I said ‘Hey, I need this write up. It has to come from a student. I can’t do it. Is there any way that you have time to do this?’ This was right before finals and she had AP tests going on. She said ‘No problem. What do I need to do?’ and I’m like “Here’s the information. If I could have it in the next 48 hours that would be fantastic.’ She sent it to me that night. We were granted that fund.”
Kendall has many role models, including but not limited to Robin Roberts, Tashara
Parker, Gabrielle Union, and Oprah Winfrey. At the top of her long list of role models is her mother.
“The most important role model is my mother. I would not do anything in this lifetime if it wasn’t for her,” Washington said. “Growing up, I was a busybody. I did gymnastics, dance, piano, Girl Scouts, everything. Everything was because of her. I love my mom. She’s my best friend.
“She empowers me to be the best at what I can do. She makes me realize how what I’m doing is so amazing at how it’s gonna have an impact on people and that I have the potential to be such an amazing person. She just inspires me. I want to be like my mom when I grow up more than anything.”
Graduating from Bishop Dunne ranking at the top of her class, Washington will forever be a Falcon, but she is opening a new chapter where she will become a longhorn. She is going off to the University of Texas at Austin to major in journalism and radio television & film.
Washington said she wants to go into journalism because she loves public speaking, writing, and aspires to have her own media and production company one day reaching closer to her goals of becoming an actress.
Ultimately, she hopes to help her community and be successful in what she does.
Iniya Nathan is a 2023 graduate of Coppell High School.