WATERLOO — To say DeKalb High School seniors Samuel Griffin and Christa Voirol are high achievers would be stating the obvious and, perhaps, an understatement.
Both students are enrolled in several Advanced Placement classes and balance their studies with a range of activities outside of the classroom.
This week their high-ability status was confirmed when they were named semifinalists in the 60th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. They now have the opportunity to compete for some 7,600 National Merit scholarships worth a total of about $33 million that will be offered next spring.
Voirol is the daughter of Julie and Paul Voirol of Auburn. She said she enjoys studying all forms of science, but especially biology. Last year she took an Advanced Placement biology class, and this year she is studying Advanced Placement chemistry and anatomy.
“I want to go for a science degree in college,” she added.
Voirol encourages other young women who are interested in STEM (science, technology engineering and math) classes to pursue their dreams.
“I think it’s a really good idea, because there are a lot of stereotypes about women not being able to handle the complexity in the STEM region,” Voirol said.
Voirol said she is a great example to prove that the stereotype is wrong.
Voirol’s interests are not limited to science, however. She is president of DeKalb High School’s Classic Connection show choir and competes in horse shows all over the eastern half of the United States with her Arabian horses. She is a member of the Academic Super Bowl team and speech team and president of the school’s Amnesty International chapter.
Looking to the future, Voirol said she is considering a career as a family practitioner or perhaps a position in the Department of Health and Human Services.
Voirol agreed that maintaining her schedule requires effective time management.
“I don’t really have much free time, but that’s all right with me, because I don’t enjoy having nothing to do,” she said with a smile.
For Griffin, success in the National Merit Scholarship Program is a family affair. His sister, Sarah, was named a National Merit Scholarship finalist in 2013. Griffin is the son of Stanley and Laurie Griffin of Waterloo.
Like Voirol, Griffin also is interested in biology as well as “anything related to history,” he said.
He has taken Advanced Placement classes in world and U.S. history and biology. This year he is taking Advanced Placement classes in chemistry, government and calculus and a dual-credit class in speech and composition.
He is looking at pursuing a college career in the health sciences field, he said. He also has been told he would make a good engineer, he added.
In his spare time, Griffin volunteers at the Warm A Heart food pantry in Waterloo, plays trombone in the high school jazz band and enjoys reading.
In his second semester this year, Griffin will find he has more time on his hands than usual, when he will have a study hall for the first time in eight years.
“I’ll probably just do more homework,” Griffin said. “I try to get as much done in the day as I can.
Article from The Star Newspaper
Written by: Kathryn Bassett