Like many high schools this time of year, the hallways at LVHS are full of students “Repping,” — that is, representing their university choices through their sweatshirts, water bottles, and other college-bound gear. “Repping is cool,” says Atil M, one of 30 LVHS seniors who will soon make U of I at Urbana-Champaign his home, majoring in Industrial Engineering. “I like repping.”
Seeing U of I so well-represented at LVHS (even before the second round of acceptance letters has arrived) has special meaning to principal Scott Grens, a proud U of I alum. “Our students head off to a lot of different colleges after graduation, and I’m really excited for these thirty students. I know firsthand what they’re about to experience academically. I’m proud of them.”
Many of the LVHS grads will major in STEM fields, joining a program that boasts recent graduates such as Martin Eberhard (Tesla co-Founder), Max Levchin (PayPal founder), Steve Cand Jawed Karim (YouTube founders), as well as other notables.
Jadid H, who will study Civil Engineering, says that U of I’s top-five ranking in the field made it a clear choice. “I like the concept of applying mathematics and sciences, so that’s one reason I’ve chosen engineering.” Jadid also notes with a smile that U of I is “Far enough away from Chicago that you can get away, but close enough that I can drop off my laundry on weekends.”
Estelle F says that an LVHS teacher was a strong influence in her choice to major in Biology. “My interest started because of my Biology teacher, Ms. Marcus. After I did well in that subject, I chose to extend my studies to AP Chemistry as well.”
Influences in college choice at LVHS come from family members, too. “My sister-in-law went there, and says it’s a great program, “ comments Maria A. “She also told me that U of I is a well-rounded school across departments.”
Kevin B, who is planning to study Architecture, was swayed by his sister, a U of I student. She sold him on the ‘wide open’ spaces on campus, which provide a soothing counterpoint to life in Chicago, according to Kevin.
When asked about dealing with the new demands of a heavier workload and greater freedom, students were confident. “I’m in AP classes, and sports and clubs at LVHS, and that has taught me to manage my life,” says Kevin. “I’m taking a lot of AP classes, and they can be self-guided…without independent learning, I wouldn’t have gotten where I want to go.”
Gustavo B, who will study Biology before entering a Med program, embraces the independence facing him. “I’m good at being independent, but now I’ll finally be able to observe the decisions I make on my own. All these years of high school and working on my studies will now pay off.”
Atil sums up what he’ll carry forward from LVHS this way: “Between the experiences of AP, sports, afterschool clubs, and everything else at Lake View, we may find that as we change as people, and our interests change, we’re more open with our resources and opportunities because of our high school experience.”