Kennedy Pechtl: Shooting out sparks

Kennedy Pechtl may be only 15 years old, but she has ambitions far beyond her age.

For starters, she wants to be an agricultural science instructor, and while she’s at it, she’d like to be the Imperial Valley’s community 4-H leader, too. Just in case she finds herself with too much spare time, she has a yen to be a city councilwoman, too.

She’s off to a good start.

Currently in her sixth year as an officer for 4-H, Pechtl holds the positions of club treasurer and team leader for the Feeder Calf Project, where she is responsible for supervising the efforts of seven individuals as they raise their calves for fair auction.

As team leader, some of Pechtl’s duties include inspecting the facilities in which the calves are raised, practicing showmanship procedures with the individuals she supervises, and clipping the calves in preparation.

Selected as FFA reporter for her upcoming junior year of high school, Pechtl is prepared to apply the experience gained from her years of raising feeder calves, Nigerian dwarf goats, and dairy heifers to the leadership qualities required for the position. Citing her love of agriculture-based learning and experience with animals, Pechtl noted the importance of agricultural experience.

“I want the public to understand the benefits of agriculture-based learning and the lasting impact that these types of jobs can have,” she said, “especially in the community of the Valley, where everything ties back into agriculture. After going away to college, I want to return as an ag teacher and give back to my community, so other students can reap the benefits that the Valley has to offer.”

Believing wholeheartedly in the power of serving the public, Pechtl’s main desire is to make a difference in the community. Having attended City Council meetings in Imperial with her family and participated in local events such as Imperial’s Market Days, Pechtl advocates supporting local businesses and engaging in civil service.

“I like to think of others before I think of myself,” Pechtl said. “There are benefits to being a strong leader, but there are even more benefits to igniting the spark that helps others find their passion. I am willing to serve the greater good of the public, and my two deepest passions are educating people and helping others reach their fullest potential in their pursuit of their version of the American Dream.”

During her time at Imperial High so far, Pechtl has also spent her extracurricular time as a lifeguard, a member of the Spanish Club, an aspiring photographer and a 4-H County All-Star. Challenging herself with Honors and AP courses, Pechtl keeps an unwavering focus on excelling in her academics as well.

Pechtl cited five women she sees as role models, advisors, and catalysts for her future success. She said Lequita Burch, Jill Deen, Alexis Chalupnik, Ember Haller and Lindsey Dale have all made an impact on her.

“All of these women are public service inspirations, due to the amazing job they’ve done in getting the city of Imperial to where it is now,” Pechtl said. “I hope to continue the caliber of work they’ve done for the community after graduating high school. I don’t want Imperial to be a town you merely drive through, but help it be a town that you drive to.”

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