CS PHOTO BY JACLYN LIPPELMANN
Krystlyn Palmer, named recently by the Archdiocese of Washington’s Catholic Youth Organization as the Outstanding Female Catholic Youth Award winner of 2015.
CS PHOTO BY JACLYN LIPPELMANN Krystlyn Palmer, named recently by the Archdiocese of Washington’s Catholic Youth Organization as the Outstanding Female Catholic Youth Award winner of 2015.
Krystlyn Palmer, named recently by the Archdiocese of Washington’s Catholic Youth Organization as the Outstanding Female Catholic Youth Award winner of 2015, isn’t kidding when she says she’s done it all at her home parish of St. Margaret of Scotland in Seat Pleasant. 

“I was baptized and confirmed there, I help at the daycare, I tutor math and reading, I sing in the choir — I do everything over there,” said Palmer. In her role as vice president of the youth ministry program, the senior at Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville has coordinated service projects, like making sandwiches for a homeless men’s shelter in Prince George’s County, or reading to residents in nursing homes. “My faith is figuring out what needs to be done and making a difference,” she said.

Of all the things she’s done, her favorite service project is the Toys for Tots Christmas tree the parish does each year, where parishioners take a tag off the tree and pick out a toy for a boy or girl of that age. “We make sure that they don’t walk away empty handed,” she said. Part of the joy of the project is knowing it benefits children, who she sees as the group that is most vulnerable and in need of attention in society. “Kids really have no control over what happens to them and what they do and don't receive in life,” she said.

Every month the youth group at St. Margaret’s serves a different community in need, whether it be the poor, homeless, elderly, the hungry, or children, to ensure “everyone is being served,” she said. They also work to establish a relationship with the people and the organizations they serve so that “it’s not just random and all over the place,  [and] not just a ‘one and done’ type of thing,” she said. Palmer said she has made many “lasting” friendships in the tight-knit youth group of about 20-30 kids.

Inspired by the intrepid medical examiners in shows like Forever and Law and Order: SVU, Palmer hopes to study forensic chemistry when she attends Towson University in the fall. Through studying forensic chemistry and AP Biology at McNamara, she said she’s learned that the blood and guts “doesn’t bother me.” Palmer said she is excited to head off to college and discover all the diversity and opportunity she hopes to find there. “I can’t wait,” she said.