Help us fund local COVID-19 reporting in our community

WLC seniors acclaimed at awards night

  • The top three Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative Seniors, Valedictorian Jacob Yurcak, 18, of Wilton, Olivia Skelly and Salutatorian Abby van Ham were among the honored at an Awards night at WLC on Tuesday, where $70,000 in scholarships were awarded to students. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

  • Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative Seniors were honored at an Awards night, where $70,000 in scholarships were awarded to students. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Jacob Yurcek, 18, of Wilton, received a scholarship award during the Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative High School Senior Awards night on Tuesday.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Olivia Skelly, 17, of Lyndeborough, received a scholarship award during the Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative High School Senior Awards night on Tuesday.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Abby van Ham, 18, of Lyndeborough, received a scholarship award during the Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative High School Senior Awards night on Tuesday.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 6/18/2018 11:50:16 AM

As presenters handed out academic accolades and $70,000 in scholarships to graduating Wilton-Lyndeborough seniors on Tuesday, they spoke of the bright minds, the dedication to community, and praised them on their preparedness in entering the next stage of their lives.

“It’s terrifying,” said salutatorian Abby van Ham. “Naturally, I’m petrified.”

Van Ham collected her share of academic distinctions on Tuesday – high distinction for her performance on her senior project, a scholarship from the Society of Women Engineers, the President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence, to name a few.

Her goals are ambitious – to study behavioral neuroscience in hopes of pursuing a degree in cognitive neuroscience at Northeastern University in Boston.

But the accolades don’t necessarily make van Ham feel ready for her next step in life, said van Ham, particularly as she plans to spend her first semester studying abroad in Greece.

“I have to pack up my entire life into three suitcases and a backpack,” said van Ham. “It is a little terrifying.”

She’s not the only one facing a potential culture shock. Senior Olivia Skelly, 17, of Lyndeborough, will be going from her class of less than 50 students to the University of New Hampshire, where she’ll be one of 12,000 students. She’s considering a major in exercise science, with the future consideration of becoming a chiropractor.

“I know all the kids in my class, and I know the underclassman. I know every teacher, even the teachers I don’t have classes with. And I’m going from that to classes that might have up to 300 people in them,” said Skelly. “That’s the size of this school.”

Skelly said that she’s not entirely settled upon her major, having applied to multiple different schools with different disciplines, but was drawn to exercise science because of her high school career in sports. When she was younger, she said, she had a bevy of sports she played, but became focused on soccer in middle school and stuck with through high school.

And sports and how they affect the body became a big part of her senior project, an individual pursuit by each WLC senior culminating in an end-of-the-year presentation. Skelly decided to learn how to ski, a sport she only had minor experience in dating back to when she was young, that was put to an unceremonious end after her sister ran her over.

“I think that it really helped to solidify my major, too, because I learned a lot about the physical and mental benefits that physical activity can have on a person,” she said.

Valedictorian Jacob Yurcak, 18, of Wilton, agreed that his senior project enforced his decision to apply for a mechanical engineering degree at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Yurcak, designed and 3D printed a fishing apparatus, a reel designed to clamp on to any stick, turning it into a fishing pole. But while the senior project was an opportunity to put into practice CAD design and 3D printing, Yurcak said he was fascinated with the process well before this year.

“When I was younger, I was really into Lego,” said Yurcak. And when it came time to grow out of that, he said, he became fascinated with another way to construct something only limited by imagination – 3D printing.

“I didn’t really know how to get my hands on it, though,” he said. But there came an opportunity, at a summer program at St. Paul’s School, that only increased his fascination with the technology. He returned to it for his senior project.

Van Ham studied dream theory and how different cultures interact with dreams for her senior project.

“[Senior project] is a great way to hone in on what you like,” she said.

Yurcak says that for a long time, he was interested in becoming an aerospace engineer, and is still interested in obtaining a job in the aerospace, defense or automotive industry.

The three seniors were awarded for their hard work, including with multiple scholarships, during Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative’s senior awards night. Skelly was awarded about $12,000 in scholarships from several sources. Yurcak won a $15,000 scholarship from the Winthrop and Bernice Perry Scholarship, as well as several other smaller awards, and all three were recognized for scholastic achievements throughout their high school careers.


Jobs



Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, your source for Peterborough area news.


Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

20 Grove St.
Peterborough, NH 03458
603-924-7172

 

© 2019 Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy