As the college years near in sight, many high school students dive into preparations as early as the beginning of their senior year. Scheduling senior photos, ordering graduation regalia, and submitting college applications are all items that can be found on students’ planners at this exciting time as they prepare to take off like shooting stars.
But of course no checklist for the college-bound senior is complete without SAT testing. Often, they go in and take their tests while hoping for the best. Adam Shoemaker, a senior at Lowndes High School, did the same. But he ended up getting more than he imagined.
Shoemaker lived with his family in a rural area near Chicago for about seven years before transferring to Lowndes county schools. Now a senior, he is involved in many school clubs and organizations.
He is the vice president of the school’s Science Olympiad team, science club, and math team and club Mu Alpha Theta, as well as a member of the Georgia Bridgemen, Lowndes High’s band, in which he plays the alto saxophone. Shoemaker is also a tutor mainly for—but not exclusive to—mathematics. Currently, he tutors three students.
Additionally, he recently attended the Governor’s Honor Program (GHP) for science this past summer and the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) program two years prior. He was the only sophomore from Lowndes High to be nominated for the latter.
With a straight-A record, he has his sights on attending either Georgia Tech or Duke University. When considering applicants, Duke University is one of several schools who examines SAT subject tests. Using a scoring scale of 200 to 800, these tests are separate from the SAT. The purpose is to allow students to show their knowledge in the subjects that they are most interested in.
Since SAT subject tests can boost the likelihood for acceptance into Duke University, Shoemaker decided to take a shot in Math Level 2 and chemistry. He spent much of his time preparing by taking as many practice tests as possible.
The night before the exam, he left his fellow Bridgemen before the end of the football game to take two practice tests. By the morning of Aug. 25, the nerves were settling in.
“I was averaging probably around the 750, 760, 770 range on my practice tests,” Shoemaker said. “So going into the test I was fully expecting to make around that range.”
What Shoemaker didn’t expect was to discover that he had scored an 800 on both subject tests when the results came in 10 days later.
Although this achievement hasn’t opened any doors for Shoemaker yet, he has applied to colleges and is waiting for responses. Depending on the school in which he is accepted, he will be able to skip some courses, such as chemistry, due to his high test scores and essentially graduate earlier as a result. His plan is to major in biomedical engineering
Because Shoemaker has recently received a bit of attention from the media, he wants it to be known that there is much more to who he is. “I’m not just my test score,” he said. “I have more to me than just that. I have all my community service I’ve done. I help out with my family a lot.”
His family started its own charity in Jan. 2016 called Almost Home Charities. “We basically fundraise for several local charities and then distribute the money we earn to all the local charities so that they can better fulfill their goals,” he said.
The Hahira food bank and BARC Humane Society are two charities that receive the help of Shoemaker’s family.
He also helps his mother, whom assists in planning Valdosta’s BARC Ball. “Our home basically becomes like the center of operations for it, and everything appears in the living room and [on] the dining room table, like all the silent auction items that we are auctioning off at the event,” Shoemaker said. “So, I help out a lot, like transporting all those things and organizing them and setting up the actual event.”
Since he will have to move either to the Atlanta area to attend Georgia Tech or to central North Carolina to attend Duke University, he will have to give up working with Valdosta’s community, at least for the time being. But he plans to continue his services wherever he may end up.
A rising star, Adam Shoemaker is going places. His academics have shown this, and his love for helping local communities makes him shine. As he prepares to take off for college, both accomplishments will continue to launch him towards his destination.