Name: Kaley McDonnell
Parents' names: Jamie McDonnell and Jennifer Vogel
School: Roncalli High School
Year in school: Senior
What extracurricular activities have you been involved with during high school? Volleyball, basketball, Roncalli Lifeguards (pro-life group), National Honor Society, volunteered at Holy Family Memorial, kindergarten basketball coach at the YMCA, sixth-grade girls Junior Jets basketball coach, and Lasallian Youth group activities - such as leaf raking for the elderly, packing boxes of clothes for the African clothing drive, assisting with a camp for the Association for Developmentally Disabled, and volunteering at the St. Vincent de Paul store
What is one academic accomplishment about which you feel particularly good? Getting into the Youth Apprenticeship program made me feel proud. It's something that I knew I wanted to do when I heard about it my sophomore year, so I started planning my classes hoping I'd get in. I remember getting the phone call saying congratulations and I was just so happy and relieved. Getting into Youth Apprenticeship meant that my certified nursing assistant class over the summer was paid for and other things along the way. I love my job and it's a great foundation for what I want to get into down the road.
Which class or extracurricular activity influenced your decision regarding the career you plan to pursue? There was not a turning point, class or extracurricular activity that influenced my decision about being in the medical field. When I was little I wanted to be a vet, but other than that I have always wanted to work with people. My outlook has been about the same since seventh grade.
What advice do you have for those just starting their high school career? Start out strong. Never assume anything because things can change very quickly. Do everything you can and do them well because you never know when your last time will be. Also, if you're lucky and something does come easily to you then put some extra effort in and help someone else who is having a hard time. The times you help out will come back to you.
What is one high school memory you think you'll still be talking about at your class reunion decades from now? Beating the No. 1 state-ranked team in their house last year for basketball felt awesome. It's something I'll never forget.
What are your plans after high school? I plan to go to Marquette University next fall, and my goal is to get into the physician's assistant program. Later on, I want to work in pediatric oncology and eventually work at a children's hospital.
Teacher recommendation: What makes this student stellar? "One area where Kaley has exceeded my expectations involves her ability to overcome setbacks. She is a gifted athlete, but due to a few severe concussions in the multiple sports she has participated in, she made the conscious decision to step away from sports. This was a difficult decision, to say the least, but it showed her level of maturity. She did not let her teammates down; she has stayed a member of the team helping in whatever facet is required. Dealing with her injuries has awakened in her a want to help others and has led her to her dream of working in the medical field." - Anthony Mack, broadfield social studies and physical education teacher