As the school year comes to a close and the seniors look ahead to what their futures hold, some are looking farther than others. While a majority of students stick around the states of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, there are a select few looking for more adventure in the Class of 2015. Seniors Matt DeLuca, Michelle Hollenkamp, Paige Jones, Lauren Rice, Karli Thul, Patrick Verbryke, and Brandon Walsh are breaking out of the tristate area.
Matt DeLuca is going to Arizona State University this fall taking him a whopping 28 hours from Cincinnati. He is currently in Business Exploratory with a minor in Theatre and is looking to get a degree in marketing. While his major didn’t have too much of an impact in his decision, location certainly did.
“I can’t wait to start fresh with a completely different atmosphere and branch out and see what the real world is like. Also being able to drive about three hours north of my campus and be able to ski on the mountains is something I’m looking forward to,” DeLuca said.
Michelle Hollenkamp, who is the Class of 2015’s Valedictorian, will be attending the University of Colorado Boulder where she will be 18 hours from home. She plans on studying biology and is excited to focus on classes she’s interested in as well as seeing new places and things in Colorado.
Heading 11 hours south to the University of South Alabama, Paige Jones immediately felt right at home while touring her future campus. “I have wanted to live down south ever since I was a little girl. I knew deep down I wouldn’t be as happy as I would be there,” Jones said.
She is most looking forward to exploring a place where she knows no one, as well as being granted the chance to become independent.
With many awards and a state championship under her belt, Lauren Rice signed at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to further her academic and athletic career. Rice is majoring in physical therapy in the Health Science department, in which many of her new team members are in as well.“If I never need help with my classes I automatically know I will have someone there to help me,” Rice said.
The distance between her and her friends is what fears her most about the seven hour distance from home. “Even though I’ll become a part of the Panther family, I’ll always be a member of the Rocket family,” she said.
Karli Thul will be majoring in marine biology at Florida Gulf Coast University in the fall. Though she will miss her friends and family, the choice was easy for Thul as she anticipates FGCU providing her with many opportunities within her major.
Patrick Verbryke will be attending South Dakota School of Mines and Technology to study Paleontology. Although he considered the University of Cincinnati, Verbryke decided to follow his heart 17 hours away to study what he loves most at one of the only schools in the country to offer his major.
“I’m most excited to get to explore the location of campus and everything surrounding it,” Verbryke said.
This fall, Brandon Walsh will be returning to his home town of St. Louis to attend Maryville University. Walsh has always had a love for the city of St. Louis, so he is very excited to study Actuarial Science there. His biggest fear of leaving the Rocket community is being away from all of his friends. And what will he miss the most? Skyline Chili.