Kathryn Mootz is a young athlete with a passion for serving others. The Highland Park senior is a semi-finalist for the Texas Christian Athlete of the Year Award. Mootz was nominated for the award by her cross-country coach, Susan Bailey, who describes her as someone who wants to be there for others.
“I was very surprised when my coach told me,” said Mootz. “It’s a great honor and it’s amazing that she would even think of me.”
Bailey says that Mootz is a dedicated athlete and great teammate. She admires the way she encourages the other girls. “In my 26 years of teaching, I’ve never met a girl like her, she’s angelic,” Bailey said. “There’s just an air about her, I can’t describe it, but she’s a very unique girl.”
Awarded annually by Lay Witnesses for Christ — an organization designed to encourage athletes to positively impact others — Mootz is one of 150 student-athletes from more than 2,200 high schools in Texas selected for the award.
Mootz was inspired by her parents and sisters to start running in elementary school. While she wasn’t a fast runner, she would do her best to keep up with her family. Over the years, Mootz continued training, finally earning her a place on the JV team.
“I just really wanted to be a part of those 130 girls that were out running,” Mootz said.
Along with cross country, Mootz is actively involved in the community and is constantly searching for more ways to volunteer, yet another hobby she enjoys doing with her family. The Mootzes serve at Brother Bill’s Helping Hand, a Christian ministry in West Dallas where they’ve built committed relationships with the people there and have watched the mission grow.
Mootz loves how many lives she is able to impact and the difference she’s able to make, she said. “Whatever you do for them, they just feel so blessed,” Mootz said. “They give so much back to me just in their smiles and in the love that we share.”
As president of the Community Service Council at Highland Park, Mootz arranges different events throughout the year to get students involved and to help them earn their required 50 hours of service needed to graduate. Throughout her term, Mootz has expanded the turkey drive, angel drive, blood drive, and other annual events.
Mootz is still undecided about where she’ll attend college in the fall, but she knows that wherever she goes, philanthropy will be a part of her life. “I just want to continue giving back to the community, not in any specific role,” Mootz said. “To really show my faith and what Christ has already done for me.”
Update: she won.