This is the eighth of 20 profiles about The Gazette's Best and Brightest Class of 2014.
While most high school girls are worried about their hairstyles, Jessica Wyatt was not concerned about getting rid of hers.
For four consecutive years, Wyatt willingly, even enthusiastically, shaved her head to benefit the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She was the first freshman female student at Rampart's Bald for Bucks to do so, and is the only female student to carry out the tradition for four years. In the process, she is recognized as the single largest moneymaker for this event at her school: $4,000 cumulatively.
The first year Wyatt shaved her head, she was joined by only two other girls. By her senior year the number grew to more than 30 girls, plus her mother.
"When I did it my freshman year, my mom was so proud she told me if I did it all four years she would shave hers with me my senior year," she said.
Her mother, Karen Izdepski, joined her daughter at the school assembly for the group shave.
The Bald for Bucks program has had more than a physical impact on Wyatt - and her family. She said she wrote about it in her essay for the Honors Program at Colorado State University at Fort Collins. "I would love to carry on something like this at CSU," she said.
Wyatt demonstrates selflessness in other ways.
Her family home was evacuated last summer in the Black Forest fire.
While rushing to pack personal belongings, she realized hours later that she had neglected to retrieve an important item of her stepfather's who was deployed. Although her home was untouched, Wyatt said she had trouble shaking her distress over forgetting something meaningful to someone else.
"It was definitely a defining moment for me," she said.
RAMPART HIGH SCHOOL
Parents: Karen and Gregg Izdepski
College Plans: Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Honors Program, early education or special education major
Other: Honor Roll(2010-14); Responsibility Ram Award(2013-14); Assistant manager Rampages yearbook; Advanced Placement courses in Literature, English, Chemistry and U.S. History; third place finish State JV Diving Championship (2013), Rampart High School Marching Band