While many of her classmates are prepping for college, Chesapeake High School class of 2019 valedictorian Summer Smith is turning her part-time internship into a full-time job.
During her senior year, Smith interned at a government agency as a computer aid. This summer, she will continue with the position as a full-time employee while taking classes part time at Anne Arundel Community College to pursue a computer science degree.
“Big picture, I want to use my computer science degree and work experience to catch the bad guys and help the good guys,” Smith said.
While at Chesapeake, Smith was a four-sport varsity athlete. She created a buzz freshman year by earning starting spots on the varsity soccer, basketball and softball teams. Her junior year, Smith earned a spot on the varsity tennis team.
Outside of sports, Smith was a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and was in the Varsity Club, which helped with pep rallies and similar events.
Staying busy helped Smith with her time management.
“It’s the whole balancing act,” Smith said, “learning to prioritize my time and what needs to be done now and what can wait. Making sacrifices to always be a good student.”
For Smith, it was always important to maintain good grades and push herself to succeed. She has been ranked first in her class since her freshman year, and she earned scholarships from the Chesapeake High School Athletic Boosters and Delegate Nic Kipke.
“I’ve always tried to stress good grades and doing well in school, so seeing that pay off is really awesome,” Smith said. “My mom and dad have always encouraged me to do my best, whether it be academics, athletics or anything in life. They push me when things get tough. They cheer me on when I do good. And they remind me to follow my heart no matter what.”
Now, Smith is focused on starting her career. She is excited to build a name for herself and “do [her] own thing.” Her final message to students in the class of 2019 would be to focus on their mindset.
“You can take the same situation, and you can either put a positive spin on it or a negative spin on it,” Smith said. “That can either be something really cool for you and good for you or something that totally takes you down.”