Campus Life

After Harvey Flooded Aggie’s High School, She Stepped Up To Help

April 10, 2018

Flooding in Kingwood
Kingwood, the hometown of Texas A&M environmental geosciences senior Kaylin Krienke, experienced major flooding after Hurricane Harvey. Photo courtesy of Kaylin Krienke.
By Taylor Fuechec, Texas A&M University College of Geosciences

Over half a year ago, Hurricane Harvey came barreling into the Texas Coast with the force of a Category 4 storm. The storm caused loss of life and massive amounts of damage throughout many Texas cities, including numerous Texas Aggies’ hometowns.

Third-generation Aggie and environmental geosciences senior Kaylin Krienke was among the thousands of people affected by the storm. Her hometown of Kingwood, was one of the many cities near Houston that experienced major flooding.

Kingwood High School was so severely flooded that it was not able to reopen until March 19, 2018.

How this geosciences student decided to help

Krienke was a choir member during her high school years there and was touched when she found out how much the program had lost to flooding.

“They lost everything in the flood — all of their music, all of their supplies, equipment and stuff, and they don’t really have a huge budget to begin with,” she explained.

So she decided to do something about it.

“There was a boy that lived not far from where I live, and his house got very badly flooded,” Krienke said. “He had a grand piano, and they were throwing it away. One day while he was waiting for the bus, he was playing it, sitting on the curb, because he had a concert not long after and needed to practice. Seeing that touched my family’s heart.”

Kaylin Krienke and her grandfather
Kaylin Krienke and her grandfather, Dr. Jon Botsford ’75. Photo courtesy of Kaylin Krienke.

“We thought about how these people had lost everything, and then we thought about how the school had lost everything. So we decided to put on a benefit concert for the Fine Arts Department of the school to raise money.”

The concert was held Jan. 20 and successfully raised $1,500 for the school’s fine arts, and over 300 people attended.

Krienke helped support the fundraiser through developing event marketing and social media campaigns that helped communicate the devastation Harvey had caused.

“One of the other things that our community really suffered from is that we had just gotten a brand new HEB,” Krienke said. “It got several feet of water in it, and they had to completely rebuild. That was the location of our charity concert.”

Although her own home was spared from flooding, Krienke said her relatives’ homes in Matagorda were flooded, and her father’s business in South Houston was also flooded.

“It affected everything around me,” she said.

Kingwood High School flooded
Kingwood High School was inundated by floodwaters caused by Hurricane Harvey. Photo courtesy of Kaylin Krienke.

Aggie excellence is a family tradition

Ken Krienke, her father, graduated from Texas A&M in 1984. Her grandfather, Dr. Jon Botsford, had earned his Ph.D. at Texas A&M in 1972, and later became a professor in the Department of Engineering Technology and taught a manufacturing class at Texas A&M for 20 years.

When Krienke began at Texas A&M, she was a different major, but after taking an environmental science elective she quickly realized that her passions were in environmental geoscience.

“The people that I was around in that class were so passionate about the environment and wanting to do good in the world, that it really inspired me; it was a no-brainer to switch over and I’ve been really happy ever since.”

After graduating this May, Krienke is considering beginning her career before possibly pursuing graduate school.

“I would like to get out and explore the world before I go back to school,” she said.

Krienke hopes to find a career that involves a lot of fieldwork.

“I have a real passion for handling samples and just getting your hands dirty, so I hope to find a job with a lot of that.”

If you would like to help Krienke’s high school, you can donate to this fund.


Media contact: Leslie Lee, Communications Coordinator, College of Geosciences, (979) 845-0910,

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