Timber Creek High School’s 2014 valedictorian Jenny Phillips plans to pursue a career in the sciences so she can help others.Phillips, headed to the University of Houston Honors College, wants to study biology and eventually become an optometrist.“Ever since I was really little, I’ve always been interested in science. I’d like to help people see better, and I think it would be a really rewarding career.”Ufuoma Jite Ovienmhada, salutatorian, is also interested in science and plans to study biomedical engineering at Stanford University.“I’ve always loved math and science, and I love art,” Ovienmhada said. “Engineering is the best combination of math, science and art.”Phillips’ favorite activity during high school was Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA). She enjoyed all the community service projects, including blood drives, Timber Creek’s first health fair this spring and helping out in nursing homes.Ovienmhada liked being part of Earth Warriors and making a conscientious effort to help the environment. Once a month, the group picks up trash and does other eco-friendly projects like making recycled paper.“It’s really opened my eyes to issues in the world and in every day life,” she said.Both Phillips and Ovienmhada said their mothers have been their strongest influences.Phillips said, “My mom has helped me the most. She’s a pharmacist, so I’m following in her footsteps pursuing a career in a medical field.”Ovienmhada also credits her mother with helping her succeed.“She is definitely the strongest woman I know. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her,” Ovienmhada said.The rest of the top 10 seniors in Timber Creek’s Class of 2014 are (in alphabetical order):Allison Blake will attend Willamette University and plans to study pre-law.Madison Jacobs will go to Northwestern University and will major in communications studies.Megan Meseck plans to go to the University of Texas at Austin and study biology.Hitesh Mohan will go to the University of Texas at Dallas and plans to major in computer science.Dev Patel plans to attend the University of Texas at Dallas and study biochemistry.Anngelique Plante will attend the University of Texas at Austin and plans to major in biology.Oleksandr Romanyuk will go to the University of Oklahoma and study petroleum engineering.Eric Valeriano plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin and study biology.
Sandra Engelland, 817-431-2231 Twitter: @SandraEngelland