Where are they now? 2013 HRV graduate Claire Rawson

By Anneke Virk, Talon staff reporter

When Claire Rawson was an HRV Eagle, she was passionate about helping others and lending a hand to those in need. Today, she is on her way to pursuing a career that puts those qualities to use.
Claire Rawson was involved in many activities during her time as a student here at Hood River Valley High School. She participated in the school musicals, was a member of the Chamber Singers, and was the president of the National Honor Society. She was also a company dancer at the Columbia Gorge Dance Academy, and participated in many volunteer programs around town. Rawson is now starting her second year at Seattle University in Washington, and is very happy there.

Rawson chose Seattle University because “it is the perfect distance from home, it isn’t too far from Hood River, but it’s far enough.” Rawson also likes that Seattle University is a Jesuit school. She says that the values encouraged there make for many community service opportunities, which is one of her passions. She also likes the size of her school and the “sense of community on campus.” “I always see people I know- it’s comforting, and similar to the feeling I get when I walk around downtown Hood River.”
Rawson is majoring in Social Work and minoring in Spanish. She loves her major because it places her in a small program with just 20 other students. This makes it easy for her to have personal relationships with her teachers and all of the other students in her program. After college, Rawson is planning to work for an “immigration non-profit organization, either somewhere on the border or somewhere here in Seattle.” She wants to work with immigrants to get their citizenship and find their family members once they have crossed the border.

Although Rawson says the workload is a lot more challenging than it was in high school, “classes like writing 121 and some of [her] math classes helped to prep [her] for the college grading system, as well as the intense amount of homework.” “A lot of our work is discussion based, which was hard to get used to at first because I had never worked like that before. But learning to talk, and respond to others, and share your own opinion is really important once you get out into the real world.”
Outside of the classroom, Rawson has been involved in many activities on and around campus. Last year, Rawson was a member of an on-campus acapella group. She performed at many school events and at various venues around Seattle. Rawson has also recently joined an environmental awareness group and plans to start dancing again this winter at a studio just around the corner from her dorm.
When asked if Rawson has any advice for HRVHS seniors applying to college, she said that she wants to remind them to not “get caught up in which schools are the most prestigious and glamorous.” “In the end, it’s all about what you make your college experience out to be. As long as you choose a school that feels right to you, you can have a great time no matter what.”

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