Top five Oldenburg Academy senior: Abbigayl Eldridge

Abbigayl Eldridge

"My most fond memories of high school would be playing volleyball for four years. I had such a great bond with all of my teammates and learned many life lessons that greatly contributed to my character," reports Abbigayl Eldridge.

"I also really love that I have had the opportunity of attending high school with my younger sister, Lilli, whom I would consider my best friend. We have had many great times and have grown significantly closer this year."

"Some of my favorite classes in high school have been advanced placement language and composition, economics and anatomy. All of these classes have piqued my interest because of my love of writing, analyzation of the human body and the discussion of political topics that affect our society today."

"My economics teacher and vice principal, Mr. (Jonathon) Maple, has greatly influenced the person I am today. He has always been a trusted source for any concern I have had over the past four years and his dedication to his students and my school has set a great example for me," says the Enochsburg resident.

Family: parents Matthew and Penny Eldridge; siblings Ethan, 19; Evan, 19; Lilli, 14; Owen, 11

My future: I plan on attending Indiana University to study prelaw with a major in cognitive science and a minor in Spanish .... Following my undergraduate and graduate education, I plan to become a lawyer in the field of biotechnology. I hope to represent a company that works with preventive technology concerning drug abuse and drug overdoses. I chose my intended major ... because of my interest in the anatomy of the human brain and how technological advances can be applied to it. I plan to apply this to my future career in law and technology addressing drug abuse and overdoses, which is a large epidemic that currently affects my own community. It is very important to me that my career makes a difference positively, and I hope to dedicate my work to enhancing my community by eliminating problems like these.

Successes: I would consider becoming Student Council president and becoming bilingual through the Indiana University Honors Program in Foreign Languages as my greatest accomplishments in high school. Being recognized as a leader at my school through Student Council has helped me play a greater role in my school community, and I take pride in being given this position. Earning my Spanish language certification through the IUHPFL was a great accomplishment that I will utilize for the rest of my life, as well. I studied abroad in Oviedo, Spain, and learned the language through an extensive immersion program, and I am proud to have broadened my cultural and linguistic horizons.

Postsecondary scholarship: Decatur County Community Foundation Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Finalist

Words of wisdom: I would advise high school freshmen to take advantage of any and every opportunity that would allow them to become more involved inside and outside their community. Stepping out of your comfort zone to be involved in something that may be unfamiliar pays great dividends, and challenging yourself to do something greater than yourself will make a big difference.

A concern: I believe that the American public education system is in dire need of improvement. There is not a balanced distribution of students in highly populated areas, and often many schools do not have the resources needed to help students succeed. Teachers are also not treated with the respect and compensation they deserve, which is unbelievable in my eyes because of the immense role they play in shaping our future leaders and citizens. I also believe that there is not enough attention and resources given to students with mental or physical disabilities.

Part-time job: I have worked at the Midtown Diner, New Point, for the past three years, and I am very grateful for the experience. Working there has given me essential knowledge on working with the public, communication skills and how to have a strong work ethic.

One last thought: I am very grateful for all the Batesville and Oldenburg community has done for me, and I can’t wait to see where these opportunities take me!