May 26, 2017
Most high school valedictorians are usually so busy studying
that working — even a part-time job — during the weekday is out of the
question. Taylor Shoopman isn’t your typical valedictorian.
The senior at George Washington Community High School
maintains a 4.0 GPA and works between 35 to 40 hours a week at McDonald’s, but she
makes managing it all seem easy.
“Working is something that I think I need to do to help my
mom. Not that I really need to, but I want to help her because I don’t want her
‘breaking her back’ doing something when I can easily help out,” said Taylor. “And
she appreciates it. My mom appreciates everything that I do.”
Despite her busy schedule, Taylor understands that education
comes first. It’s something she’s made a priority, even though she says school has
always been easy.
In addition to being first in her graduating class, Taylor
is also the first in her immediate family to graduate from high school and go
on to college. Because of her accomplishments, Taylor said her mom is getting
to experience a few firsts of her own.
“She’s getting a lot of stuff that she’s never experienced. My
mom is very supportive. She likes bragging about what she’s put into me,” said
Taylor, smiling. “She admires that I’m the first one in my class as well. What
I’ve done means a lot to me, and my family is very proud of me.”
Those close family ties are just one of the reasons she
chose to attend college in Indiana. In the fall, Taylor will begin her studies
in nursing at IUPUI. Armed with a full-tuition scholarship, Taylor plans to
live at home to save money on housing costs.
“I received letters from Harvard, but I don’t know if I
could have coped with that,” said Taylor. “I know I’m smart and all, but I
wanna stay at home. I want to remain close to my family.”
Although ready to start her college career, Taylor admits she’s
a little nervous. “I’ve been at the same job for two years and I’ve been at
George Washington since eighth-grade. But I’m nervous about the transition
because it’s going to be something new,” she said.
However, she’s less focused on her nerves and more focused
on the career and life she sees for her future self.
“After graduating from IUPUI, I want to work in pediatrics,”
said Taylor. “I would love to work at Riley (Hospital for Children).”
Thus ending the brain drain in Indiana.