2023 Students of Distinction

Alli Kimball a star on the diamond and in the classroom

Posted on May 12th, 2023 By:

Gig Harbor Now is posting profiles of each of the Students of Distinction being honored by the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation. The students will be honored during a banquet from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at Ocean5, 5268 Point Fosdick Dr.

Student: Alli Kimball

School: Peninsula High School

Category: Career & Technical Achievement

Alli Kimball has been playing softball since she was young. As a starting pitcher for her Peninsula Seahawks fastpitch team, she’s been featured on KING-TV’s Star Athlete program and been recognized as an All-American.

It is not surprising that playing ball has been one of her favorite things in high school. The best time of all was in her junior year, when the team was able to get back together after the COVID shutdown came to an end.

“It just felt so good to be back in a routine, back together with everyone as a team,” she said. “That the team had a very successful season made the reunion all the sweeter.”

Alli Kimball

Autism activism

One of the things she’s most proud of is the time she has spent helping in special education classes, working and playing with autistic kids and raising awareness about autism.

She has volunteered at A Night to Shine, an event that provides a prom-like experience for people with special needs — like her older brother Joey. She got to help his date with her hair styling, makeup and other special touches, something Alli said was “just so cool.”

Alli also worked to have her PHS Seahawks fastpitch team wear blue ribbons during Autism Awareness Month during a game against arch rival Gig Harbor in honor of Joey.

She has also found great pleasure in helping with her family business, Kimball’s Hands-on Detailing, where her responsibilities range from running the front office to helping with the washing, polishing, ceramic coating and other detailing tasks.

“Working with my family has been a huge blessing to me,” she said. “I’ve learned many lifelong lessons that have shaped me into the person I am today.”

The family business

And helping at the family business also balanced the trials that the pandemic brought, because dealing with the COVID shutdown was a huge challenge for her, as it was for many students.

For Alli, the challenges were exacerbated by suddenly having to find a new place to live.

“I felt so isolated and was really struggling with anxiety,” she said. “Then as soon as I started feeling better, our house flooded and the landlord announced that he had sold the property and we had 60 days to move.”

The family was finally able to find an affordable home in Tacoma, but then Alli had to navigate the school system to remain at Peninsula.

“It was so mentally tough,” she recalled. And the COVID-induced isolation — not being able to be with her friends and teammates — made it worse.

Still, she persevered. She was elected PHS Student of the Quarter in 2020 and 2021, and was featured as a Student of the Month in a local magazine. And this fall she’s headed to Western Washington University to study kinesiology and secondary education, with hopes of becoming an athletic trainer.

CTE excellence

She’s taken Career and Technical Education courses at Peninsula including Human Body Systems, College Career Financial Exploration and Marketing.

“The CTE courses have helped clarify my aspirations in many ways,” Alli said. “The Human Body Systems course was one of the biggest reasons I decided to major in kinesiology in college. Studying about how the human body works is so fascinating. It’s what helped me decide to become an athletic trainer.” Her dream job is to return to Gig Harbor and be a trainer at PHS.

She play fastpitch at Western, with a full-ride scholarship, as she works toward her career goals.

Her words of advice to younger kids on how to successfully navigate high school: “Keep your future in sight and think things through. Don’t make quick decisions that you might regret later on.”

Alli Kimball

Parents: Joe and Shari Kimball

Achievements/Activities: Fastpitch softball; PHS Student of the Quarter; Student of the Month; worked at family business doing a variety of jobs

Best thing about PHS: “The support system you have as a Seahawk. All the teachers take time to check up on you every day, which is something I have valued the last four years.”