Name: Amy Walls
San Benito High School
College: Santa Clara University
Scholarships: Anne Hart Memorial, Exchange Club of Hollister, Hollister Rotary, P.E.O, SBHS Faculty Fund
Favorite Food: Spaghetti
Hero: Her teacher Mrs. Jane Gaylord
As a child, Amy Walls pondered the idea of playing sports and one day joining the high school swim team, but a genetic disorder, Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT) limited her physical abilities and forced her to change her goals in life.
“When I was little, I wanted to do more, but not being able to keep up on the playground sort of dwindled my desire to do sports,” she said. “I’ve had to chose what I wanted to focus my interests in and I chose academics,” Walls said.
That choice studying paid off. Walls will attend Santa Clara University in the fall and has the second-highest grade point average in her class by a fraction of a point.
During high school, Walls said, she would often become very tired and warn out because of the stress put on her body by CMT, which is a genetic disease similar to muscular dystrophy. Toward the end of the school year, she would become drained and she said her summers would usually be spent resting up for the next school year. When she would stress out about school, her illness or other adolescence issues, she would rely on her religious faith.
“There has been times when I’ve been really stressed and I’ve turned to God and Jesus and I feel like when I bring my problems to them, I get them off my chest,” Walls said.
Religion is a big part of her life, and Walls’ compassion – gained, she said, by volunteering with her church – will carry over into her career.
“I would really like to work in humanitarian aid efforts internationally or be involved with policy,” she said. “It’s funny. Even if you’re considered poor to someone else you know, the discrepancy between what we have here in the U.S. and what the rest of the world has is huge.”
Weighing in on the nation’s humanitarian efforts now, Walls said, in her opinion, the U.S. is doing its best.
“I think our nation would like to help as much as it can, but it’s easy to get sidetracked,” she said.