Gulf Shores High School
Gulf Shores, Alabama
Tristen Fitts is a junior at Gulf Shores High School. Back in 2007, Tristen’s mother had to accept a job that required traveling away from home several nights each week. By 2014, the job required five nights per week. Later, Tristen’s father had to accept a temporary job in Indiana. While her parents made sure that adult supervision was available for Tristen (age 13) and her brother Trevan (age 12), Tristen was given primary responsibility for both of their care.
Like so many, Tristen’s family endured not only job complications but also health problems. In 1988, her paternal grandfather underwent a heart transplant. He had a kidney transplant in 2011. Tristen’s father suffered a heart attack in 2004 that required four stents be inserted into narrowed coronary arteries to help keep them open for normal flow of blood and oxygen to the heart.
Despite the hardships at home, Tristen continued to excel in her school and community. With high grades in all subjects, she has received awards such as the American Legion Academic Award, The President’s Award for Educational Excellence and the National Honor Society. In 2015, she was recognized as the outstanding delegate to the Alabama Lion’s Leadership Forum, and in 2016. She has also earned her national certification as an emergency medical responder for the National Registry of Medical Technicians.
Tristen has twice been named the defensive MVP for the Gulf Shores High School varsity volleyball team. She has also served as the team captain of the varsity softball team. She is a Juniorette and an organizational leader for the Citizen Environmental Organization.
In her community, Tristen is on the Youth Leadership Board at Gulf Shores United Methodist Church. She financed her own mission trip to Ecuador in 2015, and has participated in “Breakfast with Santa” and the Beach Clean-Up. Tristen also serves as a regular worker in the church nursery.
In her “spare time,” Tristen schedules condominium cleaning jobs for her family and helps do the work itself. Tristen was nominated for this award by Aunt Parrie Ritter, who wrote, “Tristen is the friend that people gravitate toward because of her kind spirit and her love of the Lord. Her friends know she is grounded in Christ and will encourage others to make proper choices.”
Tristen is committed to family, community, church and school—continuously putting the needs of others before her own. She not only stands strong in the face of adversity, she excels. For this strength of character, Tristen Fitts is honored by her school and our state as one of the 2016 Young Heroes of Alabama.