Emily Lopes
Shea Salutatorian

Pawtucket Path: Baldwin, Slater, Shea

Favorite Teachers: I have so many favorite teachers it’s hard to choose from because they all have been so kind to me and motivational in some way. But throughout my education teachers such as Ms. Rahill (Baldwin), Ms. Burns, Mrs. Davenport, Mr. Gavin, and Mrs. King (Slater), and Mrs. Ronayne, Mrs. Maynard, Miss Chella, Mr. Jennings, Mr. Flaherty, and Mrs. Sampalis (Shea) really made my days spent at school that much easier and memorable. I love all of them and will never forget how safe, heard, and special each of them made me feel in some way throughout the years.

Favorite Subject: My favorite subjects have always been English and Art. I fell in love with English when I realized my writing was beginning to grow stronger day by day and I could express my opinions or thoughts on difficult texts in a way that was both profound and informative. Also, I’ve loved art ever since I can remember. It has been the one subject that has always brought me peace and comfort in school.

Teams/Clubs: Yearbook, Shea Fashion, a RISD Program after school at Shea, Key Club, and Soccer.

Job/Volunteer: I worked at Rue21, and at Altitude. I volunteered for the MAE Organization for the Homeless as well. I am also a member of Upward Bound.

Post Shea Plans: Attending Brown University for Neuroscience & Psychology, and minoring in Visual Arts

Biggest Lesson Learned:
The biggest lesson that I have learned throughout these four years has been to have confidence in myself and not rely on others to validate me or my success. I started my high school career shy and afraid to take certain steps to showcase my true personality in fear of judgment from others. I realize now had I been more confident from the start I would have had the strength to be true to myself and enjoy more moments. I learned I do not need anyone else to help me fill in the void my lack of confidence left. When I finally got the courage to be more independent throughout high school and let go of the crutches my crippling mindset used against me, I soared to unimaginable heights with a confidence no one can take away from me.

Advice for Younger Students:
Please be kind to yourself and understand you are in control of what bothers you including the flaws you dislike about yourself. As cliché as it may sound, self love and worth truly is the greatest strength you can possess. You don’t need validation from others and the moment you realize your opinion of yourself is the only one that truly matters, that is the moment you won everlasting freedom.