While most of her peers were scoring goals or shooting hoops, Molly Smith could be found shooting targets with her favourite .38 revolver.
Smith just graduated from Mission College Preparatory Catholic High School in San Luis Obispo, California, and made our list of the Most Impressive Kids Graduating From High School This Year for her incredible skills as a sharpshooter.
Now 18, the California teen has been training for marksmanship competitions since age 11, and says most people don’t believe her when she tells them about her sport of choice.
Maybe it’s because she doesn’t fit the marksman stereotype: She’s 4’10” with curly blonde hair and dimples. And she’s female.
As the junior team captain for Smith & Wesson, a company that manufactures weapons, she has traveled the world and taken home multiple shooting titles in competitions against both other women and men.
Smith has impressive accuracy when shooting. Here she is at practice, hitting five for five:
But even though Smith has clearly shown her competency in the sport, she still encounters a ton of people with outdated perceptions of who can shoot.
“I believe it’s in unusual places where the biggest progress can be made in empowering society,” she told Business Insider in an email. “My focus has been in providing access for women to try marksmanship in a safe, educational, and enjoyable environment.” Today Smith writes about her experience in the male-dominated sport as a staff writer for Women’s Outdoor News.
“To some people, the mentioning of firearms in association with women instantly makes them think of the woman as masculine,” Smith wrote in an article for WON. “That’s exactly the type of stereotyping that is the enemy in the challenge of maintaining reputation.”
Smith is moving to the Big Apple to study at NYU in the fall. She dreams of working as a human rights lawyer, writing a novel, and eventually becoming a Supreme Court justice.
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