Emily O'Connor, 2009, Watertown CT
What are you up to? Well, I'm in school... again. I just got into Waterbury UCONN's accelerated nursing program, where I'll receive my second bachelors degree.
I actually still spend a lot of time at WHS. I coach during fall semester (volleyball) and spring semester (softball). Coaching has become a huge part of who I am and being able to do so at my alma mater makes it that much more fun! I coach the sports that I fell in love with, with all of the coaches who taught me. Yes - all my coaches are still there. Ally Demarest was my volleyball coach in Senior year of high school. Keith Borkowski and George Palomba have coached me since I was 13 year old. Now, they are the men I stand beside on the softball field, coaching. To have a full circle experience (playing, coaching and umping) has given me a better appreciation for each sport.
How'd you get here? After graduating high school I moved to New Haven and attended SCSU for 4 years and received my Bachelors Degree in Bilingual Speech Pathology. 2 years and approximately 20 graduate school rejection letters later (yes - 20) I decided to move on. I worked for one year as an ABA therapist; I worked one-on-one with children who where non-verbally autistic. While this was a rewarding job, I knew it was not my CAREER.
My new goal is nursing. I'll be the third generation of nurses in my family. I had to re-take EVERY science class I ever took at SCSU, because mine where now either too old or based on speech pathology (I was thrilled). I saved some money and did this at NVCC. During this time, I was coaching and working as the special events coordinator for Watertown Parks and Recreation. All of these things leads us to present day Emily. I'm still coaching, waiting for more schooling, and working at the Parks and Rec office (10 years later).
What are your goals? I would ultimately like to work in pediatric nursing nursing and eventually become a Nurse Practitioner. I love helping people, so cliche, I know... but I do.
Advice for WHS Students? It's okay to be rejected (coming from me, I was rejected over 20 times for graduate schools, I know the feeling). It's is not always negative, it's simply a change of plans.
Also, stay in touch with your high school friends because while your college friends are great, my best friend has been the same person since day one. Thanks Han!
If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would you go? Ireland.