Townsend looks to build bright future
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.
Blake Townsend has attended Vina High School since kindergarten and he said that he’s glad he had a “small school experience.”
The 17-year-old senior said he’s made many friends and memories and is thankful for the time he spent as a Vina Red Devil.
“When you go to a small school like Vina, you just know everybody and everybody knows you,” he said. “I don’t think I would have wanted to go to a bigger school where there wasn’t such a friendly atmosphere.”
Since entering high school, Townsend has been involved in several organizations including Students Against Destructive Decisions, Future Business Leaders of America and Leo Club. He has also been involved with sports as part of the basketball and football teams.
“The best memories I have from high school are probably of playing sports with my friends,” he said. “I just like everybody coming together and working as a team to get things accomplished. It’s something I’ll miss once I graduate.”
Townsend also said he would miss the small school atmosphere he’s used to because he knows college will be a completely different experience.
“There’s no way I’ll know everyone there so that will be a little strange to not walk into class and recognize everybody there.”
Even though there are things about high school he’ll miss, Townsend said he’s still looking forward to college and getting started on the next chapter of his life.
“I’m hoping to go to Mississippi State because they have a great architecture program, which is what I want to study,” he said. “The college decision was hard for me because I’m a really big Alabama fan, but they don’t have architecture there. In the end, I just had to pick a school that offered what I wanted to study.”
Townsend said the decision to study architecture wasn’t as hard as choosing where to go to college since he’s loved building things since he was young.
“When I was a little kid I was always playing with Leggos – building things and being creative,” he said. “I had pretty much always planned to be an architect, but for a short time, I thought about doing accounting because that was something they offered at Alabama but I knew I wouldn’t like it as well. My brother told me he thought my creativity would go far as an architect and I finally made up my mind that was what I wanted to do.”
After he graduates from college, Townsend said he’d like to work for an architecture firm in a city like Florence, Huntsville or Birmingham.
“I’d like to live in a bigger city after college because it will be easier to find work, but I don’t want to get too far away from home and from my family.”
Townsend said he also wants to live close enough to visit his hometown because he’s enjoyed living in Franklin County and giving back to the community through his church, Burnout Missionary Baptist Church.
“When the tornadoes came through this April, I went with the church to help with the clean-up and to help serve food,” he said. “I’m glad I was able to help in any way I could.”
Now that his last semester of high school is approaching, Townsend said his advice to underclassmen would be to work hard.
“Take as many advanced and college classes as you can now because it will pay off in the long run,” he said. “If you work hard, you won’t be sorry you did. It’s something you won’t have any regrets about doing.”
Townsend is the son of Richard and Deborah Townsend and he has two older brothers, Brent and Bradley.