Clare Beiter, 18, was always interested in nursing but seeing the importance of healthcare workers during the COVID19 pandemic made her passion for the profession grow even stronger.
Beiter, a Linganore High School graduate, plans to attend Penn State University in the fall. She said she was first inspired to study nursing after seeing how nurses took care of her grandfather at his assisted living home, but the recent pandemic solidified it.
“Seeing all the healthcare workers and everyone lending a hand to help out is really moving...and it makes me excited to be a part of something like that,” Beiter said.
She hopes to one day work in pediatrics or in a NICU – Neonatal Intensive Care Unit – of a hospital.
The field hockey and lacrosse player said that losing out on senior memories has been hard.
“It wasn’t even the things that we didn’t have, to me it was more not being in school those last few months and seeing all the people I've gone to school with for so long,” Beiter said. “I was scared because I felt like if I don’t really get an ending, I'm not going to be ready to begin my new chapter and go to college. I didn’t really feel like I got closure.”
After some reflection though she has realized ending her senior year in this manner has been a unique experience.
“I think it’s definitely going to shape all of us because it was so unexpected. They all say it’s going to make you stronger in the end and I do think that’s true because we’ve had to sacrifice so much for a cause,” she said. “I think we’re going to be ready to take on whatever life throws at us.”
Beiter, who serves as the secretary for the Linganore High Senior Class, was also chosen as the student commencement speaker. She recorded her speech on video which was used for the high school’s virtual ceremony Tuesday night.
She said when writing her speech, she wanted to make sure it focused on the bright side of her and her peer’s current reality.
“I really wanted to talk about all the stuff we did have rather than what we lost,” Beiter said. “I really kind of reflected on the four years we had at Linganore because I wanted everyone to remember the good...and how this really brought us together and how we’re all a part of something bigger than ourselves.”
She said her involvement with extra-curricular activities is something she will miss most about high school, particular her involvement with the Linganore High Unified Bocce Ball team which brings together general education students and students from the “Learning for Life” program which provides support to students with a variety of developmental and cognitive disabilities.
“It’s really fun to see [the Learning for Life students] be a part of a team...it really made me happy meeting all of them and it’s just a really rewarding feeling,” she said.
Most of all though, Beiter said she will miss the “community feeling” of Linganore High and the surrounding area.
“I think that’s a really good thing to have within a high school because it really makes you feel like you’re a part of something,” she said. “That’s going to be with me forever.”