Thursday, Jun 20, 2019

Hvd graduate headed to Hawaii

Bobby Henning

Considering that he officially graduated high school a semester early and has received a $50,000 scholarship to Hawaii Pacific University, it goes without saying that Bobby Henning is eager to move on to his first year in college.

“I’m excited,” Henning said. “Senioritis set in when I was choosing my classes for my senior year … I’m leaving for HPU on August 25. Not like I’m counting down or anything.”

Henning, who recently walked with his graduating class May 27, placed eighth overall in his class with a 4.2 grade-point average and on high honor roll. He was also a member of National Honor Society and recognized as an Illinois State Scholar.

Henning applied to several universities and colleges, such as North Central, Baylor University, Bellarmine University and UC Berkeley. But when he was offered a $50,000 academic scholarship to HPU, the decision became more obvious. “What kid wouldn’t want to live in paradise for three years?” he said.

His mother, Mary Henning, recalled the moment when she found out that her son had applied to HPU.

“It was a funny thing,” she said. “He applied to a lot of places, and many schools wanted him, but he said, ‘I haven’t committed yet, Mom. I’m holding out, because I want to hear from this one yet. I haven’t heard from this one, and I really am anxious to hear.’ I said, ‘Which one is that?’— I didn’t even know he applied there. He said, ‘Well, in Honolulu, I sent one out to Honolulu. You know, you always taught me to shoot for the stars.’ So I said, ‘OK, Bobby, if that’s what you want to do, go for it.’ So then a few days later he actually received word, and he actually got accepted with a generous scholarship.”

Henning plans to pursue a five-year program — three years at HPU and two years at Southern California University — that will give him a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics and engineering. Henning is undecided as to which engineering concentration he wants to pursue, but, depending on the job market and his interests, he has considered mechanical or aerospace engineering.

After high school, engineering just seemed like the natural path for Henning to take.

“I’m choosing engineering just because math is something that I’m good at, and it comes naturally to me,” he said.

Although he is planning to pursue math and engineering, he does not plan to neglect or disregard other spheres of learning. In fact, his interests are piqued by a variety of topics and subjects across the academic spectrum, many of which he plans to research and pursue in his spare time.

“I enjoy math, but I enjoy science a lot too,” Henning said. “That’s something I’ll read up on in my spare time. I really enjoy almost every other topic. Science, physics, law, marketing, art. Psychology and sociology are also very intriguing, but the jobs in those fields are little to none. I might not get a master’s or bachelor’s degree in those [subjects], but I would like to take some classes in those areas. HPU has a J-term where you can just take classes that have to do with anything for a month.”

Although he has career aspirations and goals, he does not want to limit himself by narrowing his focus to a certain job or internship. Some people might major in marine biology, he said, and only want to work at the Shedd Aquarium, even though the Shedd Aquarium does not hire that many people and has thousands of applicants.

“I don’t want to be stuck some place,” he said. “I think it’s a little unrealistic for me [to say] I want to go to this school, go to this grad school, get an internship at this place, etc., when I’m only 18. Saying I [only] want to work at this place now really inhibits what I want to do in life.”

In college, Henning also plans to pursue many extracurricular activities, such as martial arts, sailing and guitar; and, of course, since he will be living in Hawaii, surfing.

“Stereotypically, I’d like to pick up surfing,” he said. “Hawaii would be the best place to get involved in that.” Mary Henning is confident that her son will be successful in his endeavors at HPU, and she is thankful for the educators who helped pave the way for his dreams and accomplishments.

“Our children were blessed with outstanding teachers who taught them not only the academics that would help them succeed,” she said, “but also to dream big. And they taught them that, with a lot of hard work and determination, those dreams could become reality. They were just very outstanding; they were so good. So I’m very thankful for those teachers.”