From Staff Reports

Walton Collins, 17, likes math and English, because in life you will always need to know how to read and write.

His parents are Scottie Dale Collins and Cindy Collins.

Walton’s favorite music artist is George Strait, favorite movie is “Lonesome Dove,” favorite TV show is “Longmire” and favorite book is “The War Horse.”

He has served as president of the Future Farmers of America and the Cumberland Horse Association.

In his spare time, Walton likes to team rope, ride horses, mow and spend time with his friends, family and girlfriend.

When asked if he won a million dollars, he would invest part of it in stocks, then put some money toward foundations and charities, then save the rest and make wise investments.

Walton plans to go to Walters State to get an associate’s degree in agriculture business. He would follow that with completing his bachelor’s degree and then pursuing a job in agriculture. He loves agriculture and business. He hopes to get a sales representative job related to horse sales.

When asked who his role models are, Walton said his parents have influenced his life more than anyone. Seeing years of homework, dedication and determination has shaped the person that he is He can never thank his parents enough for everything they have done for him.

When asked what challenges he may have overcome and how the adversity has shaped who he is today, Walton said that he hasn’t had many challenges, but one thing that has shaped him most is having horses. Taking care of them every day no matter what has helped he gain grit and a good work ethic.

Technology is the one thing that Walton thinks is among the greatest challenges facing young people today. He says that technology has helped us as well as hurt his generation for as long as he can remember. Television, PlayStations and iPod have taken away the imagination of today’s youth. Everything can be done by the push of a button. Walton thinks that hard work has become underappreciated and until it gains its value back, we will continue to have problems.

The most interesting place Walton has visited is Sneedville. The place he calls home is the last “Mayberry Town” he has been to. Although it is small, heritage and tradition can be found everywhere. The views are amazing and the people are one of a kind, he said.

When asked what he could change about his school, Walton said that school and community should instill and nurture a growth mindset in younger generations. Along with instilling this mindset, there should be opportunity for those who will take advantage of it and be successful in any situation.

In advising underclassmen who attends Hancock County, Walton wants them to always remember that there will be next year. Just because you won’t use something this week or even in high school at all, there might be a day when that information will become useful.

Walton thinks the greatest challenge that America is facing is that there is no difference in outcome whether one works, tries hard, gives their all or does nothing. There seems to always be a handout someone can accept even if they don’t work for it. I would encourage people to get out and try their hardest to earn what they receive, if possible.

Finally, when asked what is the most exciting event or moment he has experienced in his life, Walton says it is winning his first buckle. Winning that buckle meant more to me than just seeing the improvement in his roping. It showed every snowy day going out to feed and every hour spent practicing. It was a way of proving that hard work pays off.