By Elizabeth Lowe
When Karimah Crum is not running on a track, the St. Frances Academy junior is still on the move, participating in service activities at school, church and in the community.
At the Baltimore school, Crum is president of her class; president of God’s Precious Gems, an outreach group; a student ambassador; Key Club member; involved with liturgical dance; and in the choir.
A member of St. Ann in Baltimore, Crum is involved with the parish’s women’s empowerment group; youth group; choir; and the children’s liturgy.
Crum, 16, called weekly Mass “very important” and a time when she meditates and thanks God for her blessings.
“If you believe in God, you can do anything,” Crum said.
After her uncle – Master Sgt. Anthony Davis of the U.S. Army – was killed in Iraq in 2008, Crum was a founding member of “A Penny from the Heart,” which through the American Red Cross assists families of deceased military soldiers with funeral-related costs.
Oblate Sister of Providence John Francis Schilling, president of St. Frances, taught Crum’s mother, Felicia, and most of her 17 aunts and uncles.
“She (Felicia) was a lot like Karimah,” Sister John Francis said. “She would always speak out for what is right.”
Sister John Francis called Crum “an outstanding kid. She’s a giver. She’s very mature for her age.”
Since her freshman year, Crum has been a member of the Panthers’ varsity outdoor track team.
In the summer, Crum is a member of the Baltimore City Track and Field Club, where her best event is the grueling 400-meter hurdles.
Natasha Drew, a St. Frances track coach who works with sprinters, said Karimah has become a more confident athlete in the past year.
“She’s really fast and underestimates how fast she is,” Drew said. “Not everybody can jump over hurdles but she’s good.”
When she’s not racing during the fall and winter, Crum said “I try to stay active as much as I can. I try to stay fit.”
Crum, who began running at age 6, said, “it’s not hard at all. I love track. When you’re running with your own two feet it makes you feel good. It’s a good stress reliever.”
Crum, whose GPA is approximately 3.0, is enrolled in honors courses. She hopes to earn a track scholarship to college and plans to major in fashion merchandizing or business management.
St. Frances Academy
Credentials: Attends St. Ann Parish in Baltimore; founded “A Penny from the Heart,” which assists families of fallen soldiers; at St. Frances is a member of God’s Precious Gems and class president; runs outdoor track
Copyright (c) March 23, 2013 CatholicReview.org