Mr. THS looks at career as trooper
Editor’s Note: Franklin’s Future is a regular feature spotlighting a high school senior in Franklin County and what they have planned for life after graduation.
High school senior Patrick Tharp, 18, has been a Tharptown Wildcat throughout his school career.
Tharp said the thing he enjoyed most about going to THS is the fact that it has always felt like home.
“Everyone is so friendly here and the teachers are great,” he said.
“I’ve loved going to school here and making friends here. I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.”
During his time in high school, Tharp has been a part of Jobs for Alabama Graduates (JAG) and was named Mr. THS.
He has also been a very active student athlete as a member of the basketball, football and track teams.
“Playing sports has been one of my favorite things about high school,” he said.
“I’m a competitive person so I’ve enjoyed that aspect of it, but it has also taught me good lessons I’ll need in the future.
“Sports teaches you to work together and play as a team. No matter what differences you may have, you have to work together in order to win and succeed.
“It also teaches you responsibility, which is something everyone should learn.”
Tharp said his favorite memory from high school was being named Mr. THS.
“That was such a surprise,” he said. “That was a happy moment for me.”
He said he also has fond memories of different sports events and just hanging out with his teammates, especially those on the basketball team.
“I’m going to miss playing sports and being with all my teammates and friends once I graduate,” he said. “Those have been some of the best times in high school.
“I’m also going to miss the school itself. I’ve been going to Tharptown all my life so it will be strange not to wake up and come to school here every day.”
Even though there are many things he will miss about high school, Tharp said he was looking forward to moving on to the next chapter of his life.
“I just think the experience of college in general will be fun,” he said. “I’m also looking forward to learning more about the things I’ll be doing in my career.”
Tharp said he planned to attend Northwest-Shoals Community College since it was close to home.
He also plans to study criminal justice to work toward a career as in law enforcement.
“After I get done with college, I plan to go to the police academy so I can become an Alabama State Trooper,” he said.
“That’s just something I’ve always wanted to do and my brother-in-law is a state trooper, so he’s made me realize even more that it’s what I want to do as a career.”
Tharp said he knows the career can be a dangerous one, but he thinks it will be a worthwhile decision in the end.
“I just think it will be a great career because you are able to help people and make a difference,” he said. “It also seems like it would be exciting.”
When he gets ready to settle down after his schooling, Tharp said he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else than the place where he grew up.
“I love Tharptown and the people there,” he said. “Franklin County is just a friendly place and a good place to live and grow up. I love being outdoors and doing things like fishing, and that’s something you don’t get to do a lot of in the city. I just think living here will be the best decision for me.”
Until he starts to college in the fall, Tharp said he planned to spend time doing things he enjoys like playing basketball, fishing, and hanging out with friends.
He said he’ll also spend a good deal of his time at his part-time job, which he has held for the past two years.
“Having a job in high school hasn’t been easy but it’s been a good experience,” he said.
“I made the decision to go ahead and get a job as soon as I could because I wanted to work and earn my own money and I knew it would help me in the future.
“It’s taught me a lot about responsibility, so I’m glad to have had the job. It’s good to just always try hard and do your best, whether it’s at a job or in school. Never give up.”
Tharp is the son of Ricky and Charlotte Tharp. His siblings are Brandon Tharp, Brooke Harris, Rikki Tharp, Brittany Williams and Kesley DeFoor.