From Cougar To Retriever: Leah Evans Heads To UMBC

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Leah Evans always tries to push herself. This is how she earned the honor of being salutatorian for the Chesapeake High School class of 2019.

“It was really exciting for me because I put in a lot of work throughout high school,” Evans said. “To see it all pay off was really rewarding.”

Though she always knew she had a high class rank, Evans said she never knew just how high it was.

“It’s mostly self-motivation,” Evans said. “I’ve always been a person to always get A’s and not let my grades slip.”

During her time at CHS, she was president of National Honor Society, the fundraising chair for the class council, and a member of both the math team and Spanish National Honor Society.

Being involved in the honor societies helped Evans maintain her integrity because she “always felt like I had to uphold what they were about,” Evans said. Through her extracurricular activities, Evans learned “to be dedicated to all your work, not just to breeze through them but to actually be committed to everything and want to do them.”

In addition to academic clubs, Evans played field hockey, winning two state championships, and was captain of both the indoor and outdoor track teams.

In the fall, Evans will attend the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She plans to double major in public health and social work. On the public health side, Evans wants to study alcoholism and addiction. On the social work side, she wants to learn about the rehabilitation process.

“I’ve witnessed some things where I’m like, ‘I really want to change this about the world,’” Evans said. “If I can change one thing to say that I’ve done in my lifetime, that would be it, to help people with that.”

Evans earned a handful of scholarships: the Grit and Greatness scholarship from UMBC; a scholarship from Jacobsville Elementary, her former school; an athletic boosters scholarship; and a delegate scholarship.

During high school, Evans said her core group of friends influenced her a lot.

“We’re all so close. It’s a really tight community,” Evans said. “They all have pushed me to be where I am and help driven me to the path that I’ve chosen.”

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