I’ve known Karleigh for a few years, and I can’t believe I’m posting this– her senior blog post– right now. I first met her at a football game her freshman year and have had the gift of watching her mature and grow through high school, but it has gone by way too fast.

Karleigh is the best type of friend to run through life with. She comes alongside her friends and reminds them that they’re worth knowing. She will celebrate the victories in her life, but will also share the parts that seem like losses in the moment. It’s as if she has a deeply rooted belief that the difficult things exist in order to grow trust, endurance, and resilience. And because of that belief, she can celebrate the hard moments and keep running to the finish line beside her friends as she encourages them to believe the same.

Karleigh is also a runner. Not metaphorical anymore, but the real-deal. She’s really fast and really good. She plans to run in college and has her eyes on a handful of schools in Ohio and Indiana.

Karleigh listed the things she gets most excited about in life, and when I read them I nodded and thought, ‘this is so Karleigh.’ “Jesus, quality Netflix shows that keep you on your toes, good/cheesy/dad jokes, ice cream, good guacamole, peanut butter, running, and Mexico.”

“I hope to be remembered as a girl who made the people around her feel loved and known and important.”

Karleigh, when it comes to running a race, you’re fast and have a determination to reach the finish line first. But, when it comes to running alongside your friends, you know that relationships are about endurance and you plan to be in it for as long as they’ll let you. I admire who you are and think the world needs more young women like you. Keep running the race, friend.