Name: Kaitlin Fleming
Where were you born and raised?
“I was born at Riverview hospital in Gadsden but I was raised in Attalla.”
What is your occupation?
“I am a full time student at Jacksonville State University. I am majoring in communications with a focus in digital journalism. I am currently working as an editorial intern at the Messenger Newspaper in Gadsden.”
What made you decide to work in your field?
“I have always loved writing. I have been doing it for as long as I can remember. I originally wanted to be an author, but that doesn’t pay bills. My English teacher at Etowah High School, Cynthia Fountain, suggested I look into journalism and I did. I have wanted to be a journalist for years now. I love getting out in the community and learning about different issues and people. As a journalist, our number one rule is to seek the truth and report it – that is what drives me.”
Tell us about your family and pets.
“I live with my parents, Johnny and Rhonda Fleming, as well as my maternal grandmother, Brenda. I have an older brother who is now married and has two wonderful children. My niece and nephew are the most incredible children I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. We have a dog, who is like a brother. He is 15 years old and we’ve had him since he was just a few months old. Bud is a Labrador and Boxer mix.
Describe an average day in your life.
“My first alarm goes off at 5:55 a.m. I usually get up at 6 a.m. then get ready for work. I head over to the office and answer phone calls and type up submissions. On Tuesdays, I go with our news editor to the Etowah County Commission and Gadsden City Council meetings. I get off at 5 p.m. then head home to a delicious meal prepared usually by my mother. On Wednesdays, we head to church. Then by 9 p.m. I am in bed and off to sleep.”
What school or schools have you attended?
“I graduated from Etowah High School in 2014. The following fall I began classes at Gadsden State Community College. I graduated from Gadsden State in August 2016 with an associate’s degree in general studies. Just a few weeks after graduating from Gadsden State, I began classes at Jacksonville State University. I should be graduating soon with a bachelor’s degree in communications.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“In my free time I read and write. I write poetry and short stories. When I’m not reading or writing, I’m watching TV with my parents or spending time with my grandmother or niece and nephew.”
What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?
“My greatest accomplishment so far is probably graduating from Gadsden State. But that is just the start. My greatest accomplishment is yet to come. There are so many things that I will do in my life and I’m just beginning.”
Name the one person that has been the most influential in your life. Why?
“I can’t name just one person that has been influential. My parents obviously have influenced me. They taught me about God and taught me right from wrong. But there have been so many people as well as my parents. I can’t really name them all here.”
Are you involved in any service organizations?
“I am involved in a business professional fraternity at Jacksonville State University. It is called Zeta Phi Eta. I am currently the Vice President of Membership. I am an alpha and founder of the Beta Lambda chapter of Zeta Phi Eta.”
What is your favorite thing about this community?
“I love the way this community is so very interesting. There is never a dull moment in Etowah County.”
What would you like to see change in the community?
“I would like to see a lot change in the community. I would like to see our poverty rate go down and I would like to see a thriving community.”
What are three words that describe you?
“Passionate, dedicated and patient.”
What is something surprising that many do not know about you?
“I am an open book really. There isn’t much that people don’t know. I guess one thing would be that I spoke at my Gadsden State graduation. I was the first student speaker of the night. It was very nerve-racking and if I never speak at a graduation again, it will be too soon.”
What is your favorite quote?
“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” – Anne Lamott.
What is on your bucket list?
“I don’t have a bucket list. I just don’t plan on dying. So I am changing the question to “What is something you would like to do before you retire?” I would like to visit all 50 states and I would like to travel to Europe as well. If I could publish a few books too that would be awesome. Also if I could become a well-known and well-trusted journalist, that’d be fantastic.”
What is your hidden talent?
“I really have no talents, other than writing. Unlike my brother, I can’t paint well or play musical instruments well. Is patience a talent? If so, patience is my talent.”
If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play you?
“If a movie was made about my life, it would be a very boring movie.”
What advice would you give yourself as a child?
“Keep your head up and never let anyone stop your life’s purpose.”
If you would like to nominate someone for the People of Etowah column, email email@example.com or call 256-547-1049.
People of Etowah
Name: Kaitlin Fleming