For Will Cathey, his involvement at Healing Place Church has been life-changing. Cathey is active in the church’s youth ministry and has traveled to Honduras on multiple mission trips.

“When I first started going to Healing Place, what they do looks like performance, but it’s really worship,” Cathey said. “I had never seen anything like that before. I wanted to be a part of it so much. Now I can say that I’ve met pretty much all of my friends through the church. It’s a great group of people.”

Paul Musso, the youth and young adults pastor at Healing Place, said Cathey immediately stood out because of his passion for serving others. He has been a part of Musso’s small group for several years, serving in the youth ministry on Wednesdays and the Kids Ministry on Sundays.

While he loves all aspects of serving, Cathey said his mission trips to Honduras have been especially meaningful.

“During the first one, pretty much everybody we met were living in wooden shacks,” he said. “They had almost nothing, but every single person had a smile on their face all the time. It really inspired me to not take things for granted. I felt like if they can be happy in those circumstances, I can definitely be happy with what I have.”

Besides his servant work, Cathey, a senior at Dutchtown High, is a standout member of the school’s powerlifting team. Last year, he placed second in every meet that he attended. In January, he won his first meet. Next up is a regional meet in late February. If he scores high enough there, he will qualify for the state meet this spring.

Following graduation, Cathey plans to attend LSU and study mechanical engineering. He also plans to continue his involvement with Healing Place Church.

To nominate someone for Exceptional Kids, email amcelfresh@theadvocate.com.