I’m excited to have Demi as part of this project. She and I have been friends for over two decades. We met when we were in preschool gymnastics together, and then we went to the same elementary school up through eighth grade. As kids we turned my parents’ dining room table into a tent for our sleepovers and made monkey bread for breakfast the next morning. After eighth grade, Demi and I went to separate high schools. She went to Snider while I went to Concordia, but we managed to keep in touch even though we don’t see each other nearly as often as we used to.
In high school Demi played soccer for Snider during the regular season, and she played indoor soccer in the off-season. She tutored elementary school students as part of an after-school program. Outside of school, Demi was active in her church’s youth group and participated in a mission trip to Mexico one summer. She recalls Friday night football games as some of her favorite times during high school. During her senior year, she was part of collegiate connection, where she went to school half-days and then took college classes at IPFW in the afternoons.
After high school, Demi originally began studying pharmacy. She had wanted to be a pharmacist since the 7th grade (I can vouch for this), but by her senior year of college she realized she just wasn’t passionate about pharmacy anymore. She realized she really enjoyed her enviornmental classes more than the health classes, so she switched her major to environmental science and is close to finishing up that degree.
Demi has always loved horses, and back in elementary school she even had her own horse. While she was in college, she got an email through the university looking for volunteers to work at a local horse barn.
“If there was one thing I was certain of, any higher education opportunity likes to see you having a job and lots of volunteer work,” Demi says. “Plus, it was with horses. I didn’t hesitate to give them a call.”
Demi volunteered not just at the barn, but also for a non-profit organization that provided hippotherapies to people with mental and physical disadvantages. “That’s fancy talk for horse therapy,” she says. For a while she was part of IPFW’s equestrian team, and now she owns her own thoroughbred horse that has been retired from the racetrack. She also has two rescue cats and an English Shepherd puppy, and continues to volunteer at a horse barn. The rest of the time, she works as a coordinator at a durable medical equipment company.
“I wish my future self would have been able to tell my high school self to be more confident in who I was, to not be afraid to get out there in the world and go for the things that scared me most. I always felt additional stress to live my life to appease those around me, but truly I just needed to take my own bull by the horns. You’re only young once, right? I think if anyone else would have told me that, I wouldn’t have listened. I was pretty stubborn, even back then.
“I also would have told myself to SLOW DOWN. I was in such a hurry to be an “adult” – planning college curriculums, where I’d work, when I could move out into the big world all on my own. I didn’t really appreciate the fun things I was able to do at the time because I was in such a rush to get to the end.”
Snider High School Class of 2010
Check out more of my Dear Senior Portrait Series here on the blog. If you missed the first post that talks about why I'm starting this project and why it's important to me, you can read that post as well!