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North Hagerstown student sets his sights on international business

October 20, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- Christopher Bradford participates in all the usual high school extracurricular activities: tennis, soccer, math tutoring.

The North Hagerstown High School senior is also a trained mediator who works with people to resolve problems as a volunteer at the Washington County Community Mediation Center.

Christopher also is one of 16,000 students nationwide recognized as National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists, an honor determined by Preliminary SAT scores.

"Maybe a college will see it and like it and let me in that might not have otherwise," he said.

The 17-year-old wants to study international business and already has an eye to the wider world.

Having studied French and Spanish in high school, he wants to major in international business once in college.

"I like the idea of traveling to and working with people from other countries," he said.

He took a service trip to Costa Rica last summer. He spent 10 days there, staying with a family in the "middle of nowhere," Christopher said.

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While there, he helped rebuild and repaint buildings, tutored children in English and played a lot of soccer in his downtime, Christopher said.

"It was cool to get to know another culture," he said, though he said it was "tough to go without the Internet for almost two weeks."

For Christopher, how America is viewed in the world is important. While not yet old enough to vote in the upcoming election, he sports a Barack Obama sticker on his car.

"I think he would do a better job gaining America some respect around the world that may have been lost in the recent past," he said. He described Obama as "a better diplomat than McCain might be."

In school, Christopher is working toward the International Baccalaureate diploma, a two-year curriculum that focuses on college prep.

"I thought it would be interesting, make you think more. And it does," he said.

Christopher wants to attend the University of Maryland or one of several colleges up north.

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