Bright Future: Cathedral grad named Hinds Higher Education honoree

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, November 27, 2013

NATCHEZ — Caleb Upton will join 33 other students from colleges across Mississippi in February to be honored for their academics and service.

Caleb Upton

Caleb Upton

HEADWAE was established by the Mississippi Legislature to annually honor one student and one faculty member from each of the 34 public and private member institutions of the Mississippi Association of Colleges.

Upton said he knew nothing about the program, but was encouraged to apply by the school’s counselor.

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“They said the student with the top grades, service and club affiliations would be picked,” Upton said. “It’s pretty cool to be chosen out of everyone at Hinds, but I really haven’t wrapped my head around it yet.

“I still can’t believe they picked me.”

Upton is a member of the college’s honor institute, Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, and the Baptist Student Union, where he is a lead team member. Upton also plays on the college’s baseball team.

All of those activities, Upton said, keep him active around campus and in the community.

“We do a lot of community service projects with those groups, so I’ve gotten over 40 community service hours,” Upton said. “I want to be a coach, so anything we do working with kids or mentoring I really enjoy.”

Upton will be honored at the HEADWAE luncheon on Feb. 18 in Jackson, where he’ll be welcomed by the lieutenant governor and recognized in each chamber of the Legislature.

“I’m not sure who all I’m going to meet, but it’ll be a cool experience,” Upton said. “It’s definitely something I’ve never done before.”

Upton said his parents, Jeff and Sonya Upton, were thrilled to hear he was selected and appear more excited at times than him for the luncheon.

“They’re really proud,” Caleb Upton said. “They’ve always supported me in everything I do, and they’re always blown away by all this kind of stuff.”

After finishing his classes and graduating in May, Upton plans to move on to a four-year university to continue his studies, with the ultimate goal of becoming a coach and mentor to young athletes.

“I’m keeping my mind open as far as schools go, but I know I’ll be playing ball somewhere,” Upton said. “I’ve grown attached to Hinds since I got here, so I’m going to miss it.

“The weirdest thing will be knowing I’m already through my second year of college.”