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June 2012
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Teen won't let introversion define him

By JASON MORROW jmorrow@paducahsun.com

Golf is the perfect game for Paul Wynstra.

He gets to walk the greens alone, trying to beat his previous scores. He doesn't have to talk to anyone in those couple of hours, and he is OK with that. It's time where he can be alone and become energized.

A self-described introvert, Wynstra said it can be a challenge to push through the potential awkwardness of crowds and public speaking, though you would never know it looking at his accomplishments.

Wynstra, 18, was the class favorite at Mayfield High School three years in a row and currently serves as the senior class president. Last year his golf team won the regional championship for the first time since 1995. Along with his extracurricular activities, he has maintained a 4.1 grade-point average.

He doesn't like to bask in the spotlight, however.

"I feel like I've been blessed so greatly in my life," Wynstra said. "I guess it's my responsibility to use what I've been blessed with and try to help other people."

Wynstra, the son of Jonathan and Martha Wynstra, is The Sun's latest Teen of the Week. Each Monday, The Sun features a student selected from nominees submitted by high school counselors in western Kentucky and southern Illinois.

This spring, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners and receive a $2,500 scholarship.

Outside of school, Wynstra is involved with his youth group at First Baptist Church of Mayfield and has started a Bible study with seventh graders.

"I'm devoted to discipleship and getting to know those guys in the youth group," he said.

He also spends time mentoring, helping youngsters with vocabulary and math.

Last summer, Wynstra took part in the Governor Scholar Program at Morehead State University, where he studied physical science.

His career goal is to become an architect after graduating from Murray State. With art and math having been his favorite subjects in school, he hopes he can blend the two in his career. "I like the idea of starting with something normal and making it into something creative," he said. "I've always liked that process."

When he gets to Murray State, Wynstra plans to try out for the golf team.

"I'm going to practice and see if I can get it," he said. "But if I don't, I can move on and be happy."

But that doesn't mean he won't keep walking the golf courses, still trying to beat his personal best.

Right now, Wynstra wishes he was done filling out scholarship applications because he doesn't like writing about himself.

"I really don't like bragging about myself," he said. "It's one of my least favorite things to do."

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