Dempsey Hollenbeck knew right away what she wanted to do for her senior project. But she could never have imagined how successful it would have turned out.
The junior volleyball player and track and field athlete has held a fascination with racing. Her father, Chad, drives at Selinsgrove Speedway.
“I’ve always wanted to drive my dad’s race car,” Hollenbeck said.
She took that idea and turned it into a project, Laps for Leukemia, which was held at Selinsgrove Speedway, with the proceeds going to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The event benefited her cousin, Brooke, who was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 3 years old.
“My family helped me,” Hollenbeck said. “So did my dad’s crew. I drove my dad’s old race car before the Modified race.”
Add to that selling t-shirts and holding a raffle, money raised surpassed $17,000.
“The response was awesome,” she said. “I didn’t know what to expect, but this was great.”
Hollenbeck enjoys the racing, but is looking to become an X-ray technician.
Senior Katherine Kempa remembers going to watch her older brother Kevin’s high school volleyball matches and becoming enamored with the sport.
“I just always like the feel of the game,” Kempa said. “Once I hit high school, it was always my goal to play volleyball.”
Now, she is in her fourth year on the team. So far, she is pleased with how this season is going.
“We’re doing really well,” Kempa said. “We get along really well as a team and that is helping us on the court.”
Besides volleyball, Kempa is also on the track and field team, where she runs the sprints and throws the javelin.
She is a member of the Leo Club, prom committee and National Honor Society. She also is a big Pittsburgh Steelers fan.
Kempa hopes to continue her volleyball career in college and study education with the idea of one day becoming an elementary or middle school teacher.
Sophomore basketball player Kyra Ricci spent her summer in a different kind of class.
Ricci got the opportunity to go to the Bahamas for a college marine biology class and also earned her scuba diving certification.
“My favorite part was the scuba diving.” Ricci said.
But that’s not to say she didn’t enjoy the educational aspects of the journey.
“I liked learning how the organisms work.” said Ricci, who is sure it was an overall experience she will never forget.