Mount Vernon High School honor grad Kaitlyn Schneider, 18, will attend Virginia Tech and plans to major in chemical engineering. Her extracurricular activities include president of the Science Honor Society, National Honor Society treasurer, crew team member and horseback riding. Schneider will graduate with a 4.2 GPA and delivered a speech to her class at her graduation ceremony Friday afternoon.
What made you pick Virginia Tech?
I picked it because of the Hokie spirit. They have a great sense of community and a good engineering program.
What is the basis of your graduation speech?
The speech is based on a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It’s about how success isn’t about a person’s achievements, but about how we make the world a better place. I interned at Service Source this year. When you’re in high school you kind of forget about the community because you’re focused on grades, tests, etc. Working at Service Source showed me it’s OK to help other people and find self-fulfillment.
How long did it take you to write your speech?
The longest part was getting the idea and getting started. It took me a couple of days.
What was your reaction when you found out you were going to be an honor grad?
I was really excited when I heard that I was selected as an honor grad. You put all this work in and it’s nice to be recognized.
What are your plans for the summer?
I’m enrolled in the STEP program at Virginia Tech. I’m taking calculus, chemistry, and intro to engineering. I’m looking forward to meeting the people who are going to be my peers in the engineering program.
Which artists are you listening to on your iPod?
I’ve been listening to fun., Gotye, and Florence and the Machine.
What will you miss most about Mount Vernon High School?
What I’ll miss most are my teachers. I know it sounds clichéd, but when your teachers are interested in teaching that subject, it makes it more fun. Ms. Garber was a really great math teacher. And I’ve had some science teachers who have helped me move toward the engineering field.
What will you miss most about living at home?
My mom’s cooking. Virginia Tech has pretty good food, but it’s nothing compared to home.