When Kaytlyn Meyer discovered theater and the traditional art of storytelling, her life's trajectory changed.

Kaytlyn, 17, a Daviess County High School senior, was named one of four Kentucky Youth Storytelling Torchbearers by the Kentucky Storytelling Association. In this capacity, she'll represent the KSA at the 2019 Kentucky State Fair on Aug. 18, will receive a plaque, free admissions to storytelling events throughout Kentucky, and will participate in the annual Kentucky Storytelling Conference in November.

She is the daughter of Matthew and Brenda Meyer and has one sister, Maddox. She and her family moved to the area two years ago. She comes from a military family, so it was often difficult for her to plant roots growing up.

"I'm a military child so I've had to move so many different places, and because of that I haven't been able to hold onto places because you never know when you have to pack your bag," she said. "Storytelling and being able to be different people and characters has been an outlet for me. I can be whoever I want to be."

Being named a Torchbearer means a lot to her, and she considers it an honor. Since was introduced to storytelling as a sophomore she has looked up to Torchbearers of the past.

"Knowing I'm one of those now is humbling," she said. "It makes me think about what I can do to inspire other people when I go around to perform at these different places. It'll also be really cool to see other people's stories."

Kaytlyn has been acting since she was in the sixth grade, but didn't start debate until she moved to Owensboro. At that point, she was introduced to speech team and storytelling by her teacher, Karen Feldhaus.

Feldhaus, a DCHS drama teacher who also coaches the speech team, said last year Kaytlyn scored second in the state in storytelling competition and that "she was made to do this."

The Torchbearers are "next-generation storytellers," Feldhaus said, and in this capacity, they are able to be a free member of the Kentucky Storytelling Association and attend its events.

"It's all in the hopes that she can continue to spread the joy of storytelling to other people," Feldhaus said. "She is sort of like a youth ambassador representative for the KSA."

Kaytlyn has been accepted to Western Kentucky University, but she isn't sure she will land in Bowling Green as she has aspirations of moving to a bigger city where she hopes to pursue a degree in special education and theater.

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315.

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