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Goretti graduates 48

June 01, 2003|By JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

Graduating senior Evan Patronik isn't certain about his career path.

The salutatorian for St. Maria Goretti High School's Class of 2003 is thinking about majoring in engineering at the University of Maryland College Park, but wants to take a variety of courses before settling on a major.

There's always the possibility he could graduate with an engineering degree to discover a bad job market in that field, said Patronik, 18, of Hagerstown.

But, Patronik is certain his faith will aid him as he makes choices about his future.

"I think it will all come out in the end," Patronik said. "You just have to have faith. It will work out. Money isn't everything. Liking what you do is better than material wealth."

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Using one's faith as a strength in their future was part of the message delivered in the Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly's homily Saturday at the graduation ceremony in St. Ann Catholic Church.

"Your faith builds on your humanity. Rely on the strength of that faith as you continue to grow," said Malooly, auxiliary bishop of Baltimore.

Approximately 800 people attended the graduation ceremony.

Valedictorian Jaidip Chakravartti, 17, of Martinsburg, W.Va., challenged his 47 fellow graduates to make positive changes and urged them to search for the "supreme reality in life" and to pursue the greatest quest of all - inner truth.

For himself and his fellow graduates, Chakravartti thanked their teachers, classmates, families and a higher power.

Ann Hetzer, 18, of Hagerstown, said she will use her faith in that higher power to do what's best for her constituents when she becomes a politician.

Hetzer is going to Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla., to study political science before going to law school. Hetzer wants to be a lawyer and then run for office because she wants to make a difference and do some good, she said.

Her faith will help her make the right decisions for the community rather than for herself and her political party, she said.

Valerie Cushwa, 18, of Hagerstown and Meghan Snyder, 17, of Frederick, Md., are going to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

Cushwa will study pre-law in hopes of becoming an attorney, probably for mergers and acquisitions, she said.

Cushwa said lawyers are sometimes perceived as liars.

"I plan to change that and do truth and justice," Cushwa said. "I'll apply my Catholic faith to my work and be fair and honest."

"I think I have enough strength that I'm going to be able to do that. And willpower," Cushwa said.

Snyder wants to major in communications and political science so she can be a spokeswoman for a conservative think tank, or a senator.

Her faith translates into her political beliefs so she will apply it to her work, Snyder said. First, she will have to find someone who shares her beliefs so she can represent that person, she said.

As a high school student, Snyder worked with Maryland State Sen. Alex Mooney, R-Washington/Frederick. Starting Monday, she will work with the Leadership Institute, a conservative think tank in Arlington, Va., she said.

Basketball player Derrick Davis said he still has to pick a college to go to, but on Saturday all he wanted to do was enjoy the moment.

"Right now, I'm just excited that I graduated," said Davis, 18, of Washington.

While he's sure his faith helped him with that, he wants to think about his future later, he said.

"Right now, we just want to have fun," Davis said.

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