The Paducah Tilghman High School senior said she doesn't see any reason to involve herself in an activity unless she plans to participate in it fully.
Humphrey admits her attitude brings some challenges. She said she's not naturally a leader — in fact, she describes herself as introverted — and juggling her multitude of interests can prove difficult. But she doesn't let that stand in her way.
"I never really back down from anything," said Humphrey, who's involved in the academic team, mock trial, and several community service organizations. "I'm really driven."
Alicia Humphrey, daughter of David and Danette Humphrey, is the Mid-Continent University Teen of the Week. Each Monday, the Sun features a different MCU Teen of the Week selected from nominees who guidance counselors throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois submit to the Sun. Mid-Continent University will provide each Teen of the Week with a $2,500 annual scholarship to its university, which is renewable for four years. In the spring, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners. The Teen of the Year is eligible for a full four-year scholarship to Mid-Continent University or a cash award of $2,500, paid through the Paducah Sun, if the student selects another college to attend.
Of all her activities, Humphrey said music has proven the most helpful in overcoming some of her anxieties, and she's picked up a few life lessons along the way.
Humphrey has been a member of the Tilghman concert choir for four years, and is a two-year member of Concordia, Tilghman's selective a cappella chorus. As the first-chair cellist for the PTHS Chamber Orchestra and a member of the Paducah Symphony Youth Orchestra, she encounters plenty of opportunities to perform and move past the occasional bout of stage fright.
"I enjoy (music) because it's an individual thing, and it also teaches you how to work with other people. ... It's taught me how to work hard and not just settle for good, but to make everything the best that it can be," she said.
She added that music has helped her learn not to worry about standing out, but rather to develop a group-focused attitude.
But when the time comes to lead, Humphrey is more than willing to take the reins. She only began working as a staff writer for The Tilghman Bell as a junior, but has already earned the position of editor-in-chief this year. Aside from writing features and news stories, Humphrey supervises page layout and proofreads other students' articles.
Susan Hancock, who instructed Humphrey in two advanced-placement courses and serves as adviser to the school newspaper, wrote that Humphrey immediately assumed responsibility far beyond that of a first-year writer when she joined the staff of the Bell.
"(As editor,) she worked many afternoons after school to assure that the paper was ready to go to press by the deadline. She has a sense of responsibility rare in someone her age," Hancock added.
Humphrey said she uses time-management skills — "I'm a big believer in the agenda; I carry that with me all the time," she said — and an optimistic outlook to help her when she feels overwhelmed.
"I just feel like you should do your best at everything that you do. I'm a big believer that if you do that, everything's going to fall into place, and there's no need to worry about things that are out of your control," Humphrey said.
Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641.