Titus Prude is always studying. When he doesn't have his nose in a book for school, he's studying for himself. He wants to learn a broad range of new things and never wants to stop.
"I want to strive to do well and make my family proud," he said.
Prude has received his education from Upward Call Christian School, which is a PATCH (Parents as Teachers in Christian Homes) member homeschool. Over his high school career he has maintained a 3.7 grade-point average, and by the time he graduates, he will have enough college credits to be a sophomore in college.
Prude has always been fascinated with politics. When he was 11, he was part of a political and civics club called Generation Joshua.
"We do a lot of campaigning and community service," Prude said.
That was how he got in touch with Gov. Matt Bevin, who at the time was running against Sen. Mitch McConnell in the U.S. Senate primary. Bevin had reached out to the club, and Prude started campaigning locally.
"It was really bumming to us when he lost because we put a lot of work into that," Prude said. "We saw the loss, but then next year there was obviously a better plan."
Prude eventually became an intern on Bevin's gubernatorial campaign and even stayed at the future governor's house.
"I definitely know him as a friend," Prude said. "When I see him every once in a while, he'll point me out. It's really cool."
The son of Mark and Teresa Prude of Paducah, he is The Sun's latest Teen of the Week. Each Monday in the e-edition and Tuesday in the print edition, The Sun features a student selected from nominees submitted by high school counselors in western Kentucky and southern Illinois.
Later this spring, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners and receive a $2,500 scholarship.
Prude hopes to continue with politics to some capacity, though he isn't sure where he wants to go with it. He plans to attend Bryan College in Tennessee, where he will study political science. Next summer, he hopes to be an intern for Sen. Rand Paul.
In Paducah, Prude has participated in a program called Teen Court, where he acted as a defense attorney for other teens.
Outside of politics and law, Prude has played a wide range of sports including tennis, soccer, basketball and volleyball. In tennis he has won first place in several tournaments, most recently the Graves County Eagle Open in 2016.
He also was a member of the National Piano Playing Guild Auditions from 2013-2016, receiving a rating of superior plus.
In everything he does, however, Prude is most passionate about his faith.
"As a Christian, just knowing that I'm called to love other people is important," he said. "When I'm feeling down, something that always brings me back up is my faith and knowing that I'm always going to be supported even if I don't do perfect."
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