You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

Dwyer High valedictorian made top spot her goal in ninth grade


MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Julia VanCora, 18

If you’re about to enter high school and already have a goal of graduating as valedictorian of your school, Julia VanCora wants to let you in on a little secret.

Make sure to squeeze some fun into your studies.

VanCora should know because she is honored to serve as the 2017 valedictorian for William T. Dwyer High School. It’s a title that this 18-year-old hoped to conquer since she entered the ninth grade, and it’s one that she intentionally worked hard to earn.

But, she said, what she learned along the way, in between all of her studies and the pressure of scoring good grades, is that she needed to balance her life out with some good ole’-fashioned fun.

“There’s more to life and to your college application than just your grade point average,” VanCora, of Jupiter, said. “It’s important to have fun and to have great experiences. Don’t make it your sole thing.”

VanCora, who is the daughter of Lisa and John VanCora, has a sister, Ella, in the eighth grade at Independence Middle School, and she also has a brother, Johnny, in college. It was her brother who helped mold her determination to be valedictorian because she saw first-hand how difficult it was to get into the college of your choice.

She also remembers sitting in his graduation and listening to the valedictorian at the time speak.

“I remember looking at her, and I was in complete awe,” VanCora said. “It made me realize I wanted to be in her spot.”

This year, she will be.

VanCora is ending her senior year with an unweighted GPA of 3.97. She managed to keep good grades while participating in in all of Dwyer’s honor societies, including science and English. She’s also managed to dedicate time to internships and volunteering, both of which likely taught her more than she could learn in a classroom. The summer after her sophomore year she spent three weeks in London and interned for a corporate travel group. And at the beginning of her junior year, she began volunteering for the Alliance For Kids program, which is part of the Palm Beach Children’s Hospital. VanCora serves as the social media intern there, and she creates and manages daily posts on platforms such as Facebook. The time she spends there isn’t for any kind of a credit, she said, but more for herself.

VanCora thinks she wants to major in business and concentrate on marketing in college, but, just like many college-bound students, she isn’t 100 percent sure what she’ll want to focus on. She favors history and English more than math and science and calls herself the more creative type. So far, she’s been accepted to the University of Florida, and is waiting to see if she gets into her dream school, Cornell University.

Until she leaves for college in the fall, she plans to continue what she’s been doing – sleeping in on the weekends, spending time with family and friends and enjoying her time helping out at the hospital.

She said that school has helped her hone her immensely and, for that, she will be forever grateful.

“School made me realize how to be really determined, and how to set your mind to something and how hard you have to work to really achieve it,” VanCora said. “It really gave me a sense of determination and ambition that I didn’t have before that, which will hopefully serve me for the rest of my life.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Manchester crowd sings ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’
Manchester crowd sings ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’

The moment when a crowd of Manchester residents joined a woman to sing a rendition of the Oasis song “Don’t Look Back in Anger” has gone viral. >> Read more trending news The impromptu performance came at the end of a nationwide minute’s silence to honor the 22 people who were killed in Monday’s bombing at Manchester...
N.J. school district’s anti-bullying director fired for alleged bullying
N.J. school district’s anti-bullying director fired for alleged bullying

A New Jersey school district’s anti-bullying director was fired last week for allegedly trying to threaten a student to keep quiet about an altercation between the director and a 16-year-old girl, the New Jersey Herald reported. >> Read more trending news Ron Rivera, 55, a retired New Jersey State Police captain who also served as...
Two PBC school treasurers were accused of theft. Only one was charged.
Two PBC school treasurers were accused of theft. Only one was charged.

Cathleen Spring (left) and Terri Miller (right) were both accused of stealing money from their schools.
Sextuplets born to couple trying to conceive for 17 years
Sextuplets born to couple trying to conceive for 17 years

After 17 years of trying to have children, a Nigerian couple welcomed sextuplets earlier this month at a Virginia hospital, WTVR reported. The three girls and three boys were successfully delivered by cesarean section at VCU Medical Center  in Richmond on May 11 by a 40-person team, according to VCU News. Ajibola Taiwo, a native...
UK police arrest 9th man in Manchester bombing probe
UK police arrest 9th man in Manchester bombing probe

Police in Great Britain investigating the Manchester Arena bombing have arrested a ninth man while continuing to search addresses associated with the bomber who killed 22 people on Monday, The Associated Press reported Friday. >> Read more trending news The name of the man arrested Friday and those of the eight previous detainees have not...
More Stories