2016 graduates: Sabrina Ray — Soroco grad catches up to her peers, heads for Hawaii | SteamboatToday.com

2016 graduates: Sabrina Ray — Soroco grad catches up to her peers, heads for Hawaii

Soroco High School senior Sabrina Ray completed four years worth of high school courses in just three years. She heads to Hawaii Pacific University on Oahu this fall to attend school for marine biology.
John F. Russell

— Soroco High School senior Sabrina Ray plans to take her love of science from the classroom to the shores of Hawaii, where she will pursue a degree in marine biology.

Ray, 18, graduated sixth in her class on May 28, and while she’s always been a hard worker, the road to graduation has been difficult.

Before her freshman year, Ray took an inspirational trip to Europe and then decided to spend her first of high school in an online homeschooling program.

When she decided to transfer into Soroco High School, she learned that nearly all of her freshman credits wouldn’t transfer, and she’d have to start high school over, a year behind her peers.

“It hasn’t been easy,” said Ray, who had to take 9 or 10 classes at a time, sometimes squeezing in two online classes during a single period to help make up credits.

“I had to retake everything,” Ray said. “I would do a lot of homework and a lot of late nights.”

But through all the hard work, Ray was able to identify subjects and activities she was most passionate about, including art and science.

Ray has also competed on the school’s track team, participating in most events, and said she loves to run.

“I just like the feeling of running. It’s letting go of all of your emotions,” Ray said.

While science can be complicated — Ray said a chemistry class she took her junior year was the most difficult course of her life — she enjoys learning new things, and earlier this spring was able to dissect a starfish.

“That was enjoyable to me,” Ray said.

Ray’s determination through her last year of high school has also caught the attention of staff at Soroco High School.

“I am proud of how much Sabrina accomplished this year to get to the point where she is about to graduate and go on to college,” said David Luongo, Soroco assistant principal. “At the beginning of her senior year, Sabrina still needed 8.5 credits to graduate this May, so she decided to enroll in extra online classes to be able to walk across the stage with her classmates. She worked her tail off this year.”

Ray’s science teacher Dean Massey said he’s enjoyed helping her find her way.

“Sabrina has always had an intense curiosity about science which has blossomed over the past couple of years and given her a completely new perspective on the larger world outside of the local community,” Massey said. “She’s a neat kid from Soroco who will follow her dream to study marine biology thousands of miles away, and will surely be successful.”

Ray said that while she’s looking forward to moving to Oahu to attend Hawaii Pacific University in August, it’s a little intimidating to go so far away from her family in Yampa, which includes her parents and five younger siblings.

“It’s scary to go so far away from the only place you’ve ever know,” she said.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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