Meeker High School senior Jaxon Bates said growing up as a child in a single-parent home taught him the value of determination.

Meeker High School senior Jaxon Bates said growing up as a child in a single-parent home taught him the value of determination.

“We always had to strive and work for whatever we wanted,” he said.

Mom, Kristen, has since remarried to Derek Lowe, but Bates' positive work ethic never subsided.

Because his resolve has kept him on a course for success, he has now been recognized for his hard work — earning him a spot as a finalist for a chance to win a car.

Bates, one of the two September finalists, was named the Shawnee News-Star and Patriot Auto Group Student of the Month for September.

Through a unique Student of the Year program, Patriot Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram, in May, 2018, will award a new Jeep Renegade to a student from one of 11 participating high schools in the area.

Meeker High School Principal Mike Hedge said Bates is a hard worker, responsible, compassionate and very kind.

“Jaxon doesn't wait to be told to move forward, he sees a problem and quickly looks for a solution,” he said.

Hedge said he works well with others — both in and out of school.

On the Meeker football team, Bates plays starting offensive left tackle.

He's in the National Honor Society and helps out on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Day at Gordon Cooper Technology Center (GCTC).

“Jaxon is an example of good moral conduct wherever he is,” Hedge said. “He displays good family values, as well.”

Hedge said Bates uses good judgment and integrity in making decisions — whether it's in a large crowd or with peers.

Bates spends time as a volunteer in various programs.

“I've worked at Comanche Community Rehab,” he said. According to the website,,

Community Rehab Project is a non profit faith-based organization making home exterior improvements for qualified homeowners in Comanche County, Texas.

“We go down there and do things like fix roofs, paint windows, build wheelchair ramps,” Bates said, “and minister to them.”

He said helping the community makes him feel good.

“And it makes others feel good, too,” he said.

Bates said he has a deep love for math and science — and the money the field can offer isn't bad, either.

“My mom always encouraged me to focus on my education,” he said.

And that, he has.

He said he plans to attend Oklahoma State University as a student in electrical engineering.

“I'll be one of few in my family — besides my mom — to earn a college degree,” he said.

Other school-related activities include being on the opening/closing team in Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA), and SkillsUSA — a program at GCTC designed to empower its members to become world-class workers, leaders, and responsible American citizens, according to

Bates said he also is active in Meeker First Baptist Church's youth group.