From St. Joseph to Maryville, sophomore Sadie Kerr is loving Northwest and all it has to offer.
Kerr is originally from Grain Valley, a small suburban town on the outskirts of Independence. She is the youngest of three siblings, making her the aunt to seven nieces and nephews.
Her oldest brother Eric is engaged with three children: Carter, Caden and Maddox. Her sister Randa welcomed her first baby Wayde Oct. 1. Her other brother Jake is also engaged with two step children, Braxely and Taelynn, and recently had a baby girl named Harlow.
Life with this size of a family can be interesting, and Kerr has several stories she remembers fondly from her childhood.
“I have a dent in my face that people mistakenly take for a dimple all the time,” Kerr said. “My brothers and I were playing hide and seek and Jake decided he was going to hide under a mattress that was on the floor. I walked into the room… and stepped on the mattress. Once I was on top of the mattress, he decided to pop up and scare me. He sent me flying across the room into a metal bunk bed and now I have a dent in my face.”
Life with older brothers and a very involved father also meant bringing boys home was always and adventure.
“They have definitely scared boys off. Any boys I am even friends with they like to try and freak them out,” Kerr said. “The first time I ever brought a guy home for a date, my brother claimed to have gone to jail and said he wasn’t afraid to go back and my dad had a pistol on his hip.”
Kerr is the last one living at home with her parents, Christine and Patrick. One of her favorite things to return home for is her classroom at Kathy’s House Learning Center.
Kathy’s House is a daycare and preschool facility Kerr has worked at for the last two years. She started the day after her 18th birthday toward the beginning of her senior year of high school. She returns to work there during the summer and during breaks.
“I work in the early toddler room, with 1-year to 18-months. I also float around when subs are needed, but my younger kids are my favorite,” Kerr said. “They are so fun and they make my day every day, even when I am not with them, just looking at pictures makes me happy. They never fail to make me excited to be a teacher some day.”
Freshman Jessica Snow has been friends with Kerr since the two were eight years old. She worked with Kerr at Kathy’s House.
“There is nothing she wouldn't do for them or her friends… Sadie has been the most loyal friend and has had my back and best interest at heart for as long as I can remember,” Snow said. “She's very dependable and I look up to her… She's a loving, intelligent and very beautiful young women and I am proud to call her my best friend. I can't wait to see what the future holds for her and to see what an awesome teacher she will be.”
The two share many memories together, but Snow’s favorite comes from fifth grade.
“I used to get made fun of a lot because of my big lips and I was crying to Sadie about how a few boys in my class were being mean,” Snow said. “Being the protector she is, she went and called up those boys, cussed them out and told them to never make fun of me again or she would kick theirs butts. We laugh about it now, but we both know how serious she was and how she would have really kicked their butts for me.”
Kerr is an elementary education major with a minor in early childhood education.
She began her college career at Missouri Western. Before all the Bearcat readers cringe, she did leave for Maryville.
“I was having a lot of trouble with a couple professors. I was going to tutoring and doing everything I needed to be, but they had no interest in helping me be successful,” Kerr said.
She also struggled with changing rooms after a negative experience with a roommate. With all of that and her struggle with the financial aid office, Kerr felt it was time to change schools.
“I just heard good things about Northwest and their education program and I felt this was a better choice for me,” Kerr said.
Sure enough, the transition has been easy and Kerr is loving Northwest.
“I love the sense of community people have here. Everyday walking on campus someone will wave at you and say hi,” Kerr said. “I am also super glad to have met my roommate and all of the people she has introduced me to and joining the Navigators. I haven't found something yet about Northwest I don’t like.”
Kerr lives on campus with her roommate, Jozie Reeter. Although the two were strangers, they have quickly become great friends.
“Sadie Kerr is amazing. Coming into this school year I was very nervous about rooming with someone I didn’t know, again, but I am so blessed to have her,” Reeter said.
Kerr attends Reeter’s bible study and the two have worked on their relationships with God together.
“One of the biggest joys I find in rooming with her is walking into our room and seeing her read her Bible and writing down scripture,” Reeter said.
The two also found out they had a lot in common.
“Rooming with Sadie is also a lot of fun because we are very similar in many ways,” Reeter said. “We love listening to music really loud, watching movies, crafting and laughing. It is crazy to me that we met a month and a half ago and she is already one of my best friends.”
College is great, but Kerr’s happiest moment brings her back to her family. Her brother Eric was the first to have a child and the memory sticks out to Kerr as one that brought her the most joy.
“(Carter) made me an aunt for the first time and being able to hold him and know I would have a connection with him for the rest of his life made me the happiest I have ever been,” Kerr said.
Anyone can tell Kerr loves the children in her life. That is why her most difficult time was when her nephew Caden passed away unexpectedly.
Caden was born Dec. 22, 2014 and died Jan. 21, 2015 of a group B strep infection. He was one day shy of being a month old.
“It’s hard to fathom why such a tiny human who hasn’t even had a chance to do anything, who hasn’t even had a month in this world, has to be taken away. That was really hard for me gathering why and how something like that happens,” Kerr said.
She found solace in surrounding herself with positive influences.
“The most successful way I have dealt with it is to surround myself with people who understand and who support me when I have hard times,” Kerr said. “I have also grown in my relationship with God to give me strength and helping me know there is a reason he isn’t here and he had to be taken away.”
Grief is difficult, and Kerr has had plenty of experience with it. She leaves readers with a last bit of advice on how to cope.
“Find a good support system,” Kerr said. “That has been the biggest help for me. Not in just my family and friends, but in God. That is what kept me going in hard time and leaving for school and graduating. Find the best support system you kind and don’t be afraid to rely on them when you need them.”