Hard Work Pays Off for Kopec

Alexis Delos Santos, Staff Reporter

For many of us, high school can become a bridge to a higher education that opens up a wide range of opportunities in different careers. With hard work, motivation and dedication one can achieve their goals no matter how difficult it may seem. This is greatly exemplified in Alan B. Shepard senior, Timothy Kopec.


It wasn’t until middle school when Kopec had begun to really care about his education and be competitive in his academics. He stated that although being average at first “it took consistent effort in school to achieve the accomplishments I can claim today.”


In his junior year, Kopec had challenged himself with 4 different AP classes and even with long nights of homework he still continued to persevere. He no longer wanted to be okay with being mediocre in school or not caring about his education.


He made himself to be the kind of student that would always get things done early if he knew that he would be busy or have something else to do later in the day or week. Kopec stated that “I really stuck to this up to junior year, and I felt that helped me succeed and let me sit back and relax a little bit as a senior after the whole college application process was complete.”  


Out of the 10 schools Kopec applied for, Princeton was the only Ivy League school thus making it his first choice. He had chosen Princeton due to their great financial aid along with their curriculum that offered engineering, something that he is interested in studying.


Specifically Kopec is planning to study Mechanical Engineering but wouldn’t mind exploring other aspects within engineering in general. However if he were to ever change his mind about his major, Kopec explained that at Princeton he can have the ability to change it through a simple process.


Kopec explained that “college isn’t for everyone, and the labor force is in need of trades. That being said high school students thinking of college need to start freshman year off strong.” He continued on by saying “classes generally get harder in high school, so a strong GPA and foundation as a freshman really goes a long way.”


He pointed out that “even if you’re a stellar student, you have to accept that there are other great students to compete with, you just need to keep trying in what you’re capable of.” He wants students to understand that while the journey may seem hard and laborious, the effort and work you put into your education will surely pay off in the future. And that just because there may be competition one must not back down.


However high school doesn’t have to evolve only around education. Kopec suggested that trying out many clubs and sports could be important as well. He stated that “not only do you find something you like to do, but it can help you enjoy your high school experience.”


During his time at Shepard Kopec was involved in activities like Cross Country, Tennis, Scholastic Bowl, Mathletes, Science Club, Freshman Mentor and President Club. He was also the President of the NHS or National Honors Society.


While your journey here at Shepard may end, you will soon begin a new chapter at Princeton. Shepard will never forget you nor the hard work or dedication you put into your time at this school. We hope you will continue to work hard and be an example to your peers in college. Farewell and good luck!