The Student Life Desk’s summer breakdown

So what did RV students get into over the summer? Stud Life asked around and compiled some stories
The Student Life Desks summer breakdown
Rising seniors feel the pressure is on

The months of July and August are cherished by most students as a time of relaxation; no set schedule, no homework or school work, and no stress of an upcoming test. However, for the Class of 2024, this summer was a bit different from the ones they had previously experienced. Many had a future-focused mindset, preparing for the next chapter of their lives. As summer shifts into fall, the incoming senior class explores the different paths they are interested in after graduation day, and different members of the student body take the time to explain how they have been preparing for their futures over the summer. 

Senior and ROTC Officer David Wiser hopes to continue his journey in the military world by attending a service academy. 

“A military service academy is an institution for each branch of the service to provide a free four year college at the price of the next five or more years required service in that branch,” said Wiser. He is currently applying to all five service academies with the Air Force Academy as his number one choice. “My dream job is to fly the C-17 Globemaster, a military cargo plane, and eventually transition to flying commercial airlines.”

In order to try and pursue his dream, this summer came with an “insane amount of work [going] into academy applications” and a “summer filled with paperwork” for Wiser that he knows will be worth it in the end. 

Similarly, Senior Jay Monday said they spent their summer “looking into all types of colleges and seeing the criteria for them, studying for the SAT to get a higher score that can be put into my applications [and] have been collecting all of the accomplishments and the hours I’ve put into ROTC to use in my applications.”

Monday plans on entering a college ROTC program, using the experience they have gained from the ROTC program at RV to their benefit. 

“My dream college at the moment,” said Monday, “would be Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), where I would [join] their Air Force ROTC program, hopefully on a full ride scholarship.”  

Many members of the senior class are preparing themselves for a competitive environment, whether that be competing for a scholarship spot, fighting for a spot in a highly selective school, or trying to be recruited by a collegiate level sports team. 

For Carly Seal, the process was difficult but successful, as she has already committed to Penn State as a D-1 athlete on their field hockey team. 

“While the recruiting process was extremely stressful I am thankful that I was able to get it out of the way early”, said Seal. “So, now I only have to apply to one school, which makes my application process a lot easier, and I can focus on training.” 

To keep herself sharp, Seal has been working out all summer to prepare herself to have the best senior year possible. “Our high school team practiced 1-2 times a week, played in a summer league, and played in several 7v7 tournaments. On top of that, I participated in the U21 Junior Nexus Championship with about 80 other players from all across the country in Virginia Beach in July. I also conditioned several times a week on my own, and worked with my field hockey trainer once a week throughout the summer.” 

While the process of figuring out what to do after high school can be exciting, it can also be difficult and stressful for many. Honors Student and Student Athlete Antoine Brown plans on going to college, but agrees that there can be a bit of struggle in the process.

“I’m a bit anxious about the rigor of the type of courses I’ll be taking my senior year and into college,” said Brown, “so I’ve been doing some studying and self-teaching over the summer… also being an athlete involves the whole process of making an NCAA account, reaching out to schools, and getting recruited by schools, which can be a tedious process.” 

Although the logistics of it all can be demanding, Brown feels ready to go through the process, especially because he decided he wants to major in computer science, which is the first big step when it comes to starting the application journey. 

While all of RV’s Seniors are taking different paths after school, everyone has one thing in common: they have to figure out where they are going. The Class of 2024 has been working hard on taking the leap towards their future, and we wish them the best of luck on their journeys through senior year and beyond. 

Senior Olivia Doppler mixing up a new recipe for her business Liv’s Sweets.
Summer 2023: the summer of student success

As the sand filled beach bags of the summer get tucked away and exchanged for backpacks full of fresh school supplies, it is clear that the freedom and relaxation has come to a close. Whether your summer was spent relaxing poolside or furiously typing behind a computer screen, those eleven weeks sure flew by quickly. From fun filled vacations, to summer jobs, to college visits and more, this summer was packed with experiences for RV students young and old alike.

For some, like Junior Akayla Cromwell, summer opened doors to lands of opportunity to make connections and learn valuable corporate skills. Beginning in late June, Cromwell began an internship with the German based insurance company Munich Reinsurance America Inc.

“I used to attend the Boys and Girls Club of Mercer County,” said Cromwell, “and they always had people come in and give presentations of their internships for the summer as job opportunities, so when Munich Re came in to explain their internship, I was intrigued and sent them my resume right away.”

After two rounds of interviews, Cromwell earned the internship working as a Property Treaty Underwriter, where she aided the team based in Princeton by assessing, inputting and organizing data for the company.

“When working at Munich Re you have the option to work at home some days and come in person the other days. While I was doing that I also had to meet with different Reinsurance workers in different departments. For example, HR, Law, Diversity Equity & Inclusion, Communications, Marketing, Project Management and more. Then learn about them, let them learn about me, make connections and finally learn from them. I had to work on my public speaking skills and give a presentation at the end of my internship on everything I learned in front of managers and mentors.”

For Cromwell, earning her internship and “experiencing corporate America first hand” was an invaluable and insightful experience that will last past the warmth of summer. 

“I learned all about different cultures, how to better myself for college and prepare for my bright future, [all] while developing meaningful relationships with mentors and other interns. Everyone was very welcoming and willing to pour their wisdom into me,” said Cromwell. “Out of the many things I learned and did at Munich, networking and getting connections with different people with diverse backgrounds is something I am extremely proud of.”

Similarly to Cromwell, Senior Nathan Melendez also got the opportunity to make valuable connections and explore the professional world when he attended George Mason’s Washington Journalism and Media Conference this July.

“High schoolers from all over the country were invited to spend six days on and off [George Mason’s campus] where we listened to speakers, participated in workshops, and made connections,” said Melendez, “all while touring the capital of the United States.”

When he received the invitation letter in the mail, Melendez jumped at the opportunity to attend. As the president of RVTV, RV’s broadcast media club, the opportunity to be surrounded by students and professionals involved in journalism and media was too good to pass up.

“While I was at WJMC, I got to speak to Andy Kim and interview his legislative assistant Marshal Burkhardt. I was also able to introduce one of the speakers, Randi Richards.”

Melendez’s connections weren’t only made with government officials while in DC, but also among his fellow media inclined peers whose experience and friendship have held true far past their time together at WJMC.

“I am very proud of the connections that I made,” said Melendez. “I was able to talk to professionals in the industry and get tips and advice directly from them. Connecting with my fellow youth correspondents who had similar life goals was really refreshing and my friends from WJMC gave me the inspiration to start photography as a new hobby of mine along with many exchanged ideas for our school media outlets.”

This summer saw hobbies new and old blossom into bigger things. For Senior Olivia Doppler, her tried and true hobby of baking became a sweet business in the form of Liv’s Sweets.

“I’ve been baking since, well, forever,” said Doppler. “My grandma was super good at baking; we would bake cookies every Christmas and she would bake all her grandkids cakes. Ever since she taught me, I’ve been baking and trying new recipes.”

While it was her grandmother that inspired her passion for baking, Doppler’s inspiration to start her summer baking business came from a different source; her mom.

“I was actually inspired by my mom because I would always bake stuff and she would joke, ‘Stop baking or I’m going to get fat!’ So I thought, fine I’ll bake for other people. While it hasn’t really affected me much yet, it’s been super fun to post [on Instagram] and I’m excited to start baking and getting more business.”

Doppler has been gaining steady popularity on her business Instagram account @livs_sweets_ since her launch in August. Alongside her business announcement and prices, she frequently posts pictures of her delicious creations to entice patrons to indulge.

“My goals are to get about five to seven orders a week,” said Doppler. “I would love to bake some party favors and make some fun cake pops.”

In her usual spirit of passion and optimism, Doppler’s summer business is the perfect way for her favorite hobby to turn into a profit heading into the fall season and holidays.

The summer of 2023 was no short in experience and excitement for RV’s students, turning old passions and hard work into new adventures filled with connections and experience that will last a lifetime. 

What does the upcoming school year have in store? If it’s anything like the warm, sunny days of summer, it seems RV has much success to look forward to as its students continue to jump at meaningful experiences and take the world by storm.

Senior Olivia Doppler mixing up a new recipe for her business Liv’s Sweets. (McKenna Gaskins)
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