SOUTHINGTON - Southington High School class of 2017 essayist Laura Furtak will turn her love for animals into an education in pre-veterinary science at The University of Connecticut.
“My parents are both immigrants from Poland and my mom always motivated me to become whatever I wanted to be,” said Furtak.
Furtak, who had a pet Shih Tzu and German Shepherd, has volunteered as a farm worker at Karabin Farms and an animal handler at Bradley Mountain Soaps, where she gave the goats injections, clipped hooves, milked them, assisted with a birth and fed them.
Furtak was the secretary of Future Farmers of America at Southington High School in her junior and senior year and co-chaired the committee during her freshman and sophomore years. She was also the leader of FFA’s community service committee.
She participated in the girls’ swim and dive team and Key Club from freshman to junior year and has also been taking horseback riding lessons since 2013.
She has studied at the Szkola Jezyka Polskiego im Jana Pawla II Polish language school from 2006 to 2014. She has volunteered at several Polish events in New Britain, such as the annual Little Poland festival.
Furtak said that she is looking forward to the freedom of college.
“I imagine things will be a lot different in college,” she said. “There will be a lot more flexibility with my school day and workload which will make it easier to manage my time. What I will miss is not being able to see some of my friends every day.”
Furtak said that when she first began high school she never imagined that she would be among the top three students when she graduated.
“It really is an honor,” she said. “It is amazing to be able to call myself the essayist. It’s still crazy to me.”
Furtak encouraged those attending Southington High School to “cherish every moment.”
“Don’t take anything for granted but be sure to remember your responsibilities,” she said.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.