Senior excels in academic, sports, and extracurriculars


Katelyn Zuris, Russellog Staff

Looking at senior Lauren Wilkins, you would never know her high school journey wasn’t a conventional one. 

“The middle of my freshman year, I decided to transfer to Central Catholic High School. It was mostly just because I thought that I’d be able to grow in my faith the most there. It was a great place, and I cherish my time there for sure, but it definitely wasn’t home, so to come back to CMR was such a blessing, and to be accepted back into the community was great,” Wilkins said. “It’s not what I thought the Lord was going to do with my life, but that’s what happened, and I couldn’t be happier. I think when I was there, it created my character in a way that was so unique. I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I wouldn’t have undergone that whole crazy mess of transferring.”

 Despite Wilkins’ journey to Central and back, she has been impressively involved during her time at CMR. She has lettered in varsity basketball, sung in CMR’s top two choirs, served as a class senator, and been inducted to the National Honors Society. She was also chosen for the Homecoming Court this past fall. Outside of school, much of Wilkins’ time is dedicated to her photography business, Lauren Wilkins Photography, which she began her sophomore year after taking a friend’s senior photos.

“After having experimented with my camera a little bit, I started to do actual shoots where I would charge people like $50. I got a lot of practice that way and was able to build my portfolio at that low price. It was just such a blessing to be able to get to know people like that, and I’m still seeing that even now,” Wilkins said. 

Since those first few shoots, her photography business has grown remarkably. Last year, she photographed her first wedding, and she said she has several others booked in the coming months.

“I think it’s been so cool to see my style develop over the past few years as well, going from a very playful style to a more elegant and simple style that really hones in on the person themselves. In the past, I feel like I focused too much on trying to make the fake seem real, but now I’m trying to make the real present in my pictures and just capture the beauty of God and his creation,” she said. 

After graduation, Wilkins plans to attend the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota to study exercise science and theology, but she doesn’t plan on leaving photography behind anytime soon. 

“There are so many opportunities that I want to keep my heart open to. If I’m being honest, I would love to be married, have kids, and [in five to 10 years], I probably will still be running my photography business or just being a stay-at-home mom.”

Wilkins’ photography can be found at