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Religion has played an important part in a Wapakoneta High School seniorâ€™s experiences and in part impacted the college she selected to attend for the next four years.
Chloe Hire, 18, plans to attend the University of Dayton (UD) and earn her degree in religious studies with possibly earning a second bachelorâ€™s degree in either English or Spanish.
Hire figures she still has some time to decide what educational path she will pursue as she has yet to decide what kind of job she might like to have when she leaves school.
Hire said she chose to attend the University of Dayton because of its academic reputation, pretty campus and service opportunities.
â€śMy Catholic religion is really important to me, so that was an important part of the decision,â€ť Hire said.
She said religion was always important in her family, but it never really had a huge impact on her life until a new youth minister came to St. Joseph Catholic Church.
â€śI knew before that God was really important and I thought I owed it to him to be faithful,â€ť Hire said.
Being active with her churchâ€™s youth group, Hire said she looked at it a different way.
The member of her churchâ€™s youth board said she really started to love God.
The daughter of Tracey and Patrick Hire plans to head to UD in the fall.
In high school, HIre was involved in Octagon Club and the Retro yearbook staff, choir, and part of the crew for show choir and the musical.
A Girl Scout for 12 years, Hire recently earned the Girl Scouts highest honor â€” the Gold Award. For it she was required to earn three badges and perform 40 hours each in the areas of career and leadership.
Employed at McDonaldâ€™s, Hire has taken orders and handed out food at both the walk-in counter and drive-thru for more than 18 months.
Hire said it was a service project for which she planned and help lead.
The focus â€” homelessness and hunger awareness â€” had her spending time helping clean a womanâ€™s home after several recent back surgeries and hosting a free dinner of chicken and noodles and mashed potatoes last summer to feed 150 members of the community.
â€śThe project was about helping others,â€ť Hire said. â€śI learned a lot about lower income people. I didnâ€™t realize the magnitude in Wapak. It was really surprising and really inspiring.â€ť
Hire, who also holds down a job in addition to earning high grades making her one of the top five students at Wapakoneta High School, said she continues to volunteer when she can, mostly with Girl Scout Troop 267.
With a 3.987 grade point average, Hire said taking advanced classes has been a big focus for her as she has taken 14 out of the 15 offered at Wapakoneta High School.
Earning an ACT score of 32, Chloe said she likes learning and challenging herself.
â€śOnce I realized I was in the top of my class, it made me want to try harder to achieve top five status,â€ť Hire said. â€śIt was a lot of hard work.
â€śI felt like if I challenged myself to do better in school,â€ť the high school senior said, â€śI would learn more and gain time management skills that would help make me an all around better person.â€ť