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Through Hard Work and Adversity, Gathers Reaches Dream of Becoming a Police Officer

Thursday, January 28, 2021 @ 12:01 AM

Posted by Lexis Twentier

kg gram 3CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – “I read a quote one day that has stuck with me – ‘be the woman you needed as a girl’ – and I became just that.”

Kaylie Gathers is a Clarion County resident who lives day to day by that Jayne Moore quote.

Kaylie grew up in Clarion County, attended Union School District, and graduated in 2015. She has always known she wanted to be a police officer when she grew up, but she took a couple of different roads to get there.

In 2016, she became a Certified Nursing Assistant; in 2018, a Phlebotomist; and finally, in 2020, Kaylie fulfilled her dream of becoming a Police Officer.

“Though both jobs are very different, my favorite thing about both is that every day, I’m helping someone – whether it’s something big or small,” Gathers said. “I’ll be there with a smile on my face.”

It never fails that Kaylie will find a puppy to hold at her job!

It never fails that Kaylie will find a puppy to hold at her job!

Kaylie Gathers thanks her life growing up for pushing her to chase her dreams.

“Growing up I had no one to look up to,” she added. “My parents were very young to marry – and young to divorce. My upbringing began to take a toll on me.”

After she found herself going down a path of destruction, Kaylie decided to work on herself rather than feel pity for herself. She knew it wouldn’t be easy, but she was ready to push herself to chase her dreams.

Kaylie said it was not easy for her to get to where she is. She faced defeat, negative people, and a brief set-back due to COVID-19 interrupting her police training.

“I had numerous people tell me I would never make it as a Police Officer,” Kaylie added. “They would say things such as ‘you’re too small…no one will take you serious…females shouldn’t be Police Officers.’ It tested my limits and pushed me like I’ve never been pushed before.”

Finally, reaching her goal of graduating from Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Criminal Justice Program in August 2020, Kaylie soon accepted a position as a Deputy with the Clarion County Sheriff’s Department.

While continuing to work as a CNA and a Deputy, Kaylie has recently been sworn in as an officer with New Bethlehem Borough Police Department.

Officer Gathers at her swearing in ceremony in New Bethlehem, with Judge Miller.

Officer Gathers at her swearing in ceremony in New Bethlehem, with Judge Miller.

Kaylie knew it would not be easy to leave for the Academy as she has always been a full-time caregiver for her great-grandmother, better known as “Gram.”

“Some days I wanted nothing more than to be at home in Rimersburg with her,” Kaylie said. “I owe a thank-you to Gram. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without her.”

Kaylie was also very thankful to one person in particular at the Academy in Indiana, Marcia Cole.

“She pushed every day and never let me fail.”

When asked what five things she wants people to take away from her story, Kaylie responded with the following:

– Chase your dreams.
– Your future isn’t determined by your upbringing.
– Never let anyone tell you as a female you aren’t capable of pursuing and succeeding in a mainly “male populated field” – vice versa.
– Treat everyone you come across with kindness.
– Life is too short to not live every day with a smile on your face.

Officer Kaylie Gathers resides in Rimersburg with her amazing Gram and her sweet German Shepherd, Harleigh.

Kaylie and her dog, Harleigh.

Kaylie and her dog, Harleigh.

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