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The Power of Extracurricular Activities

Class of 2020 graduate Brian Daquan Hendrickson is attending the University of Maryland - Baltimore County (UMBC) this fall. As an honors university, UMBC has been recognized for its academic excellence ranking 9th in the country by U.S. News and World Report in Innovation. His chosen field of study, computer science, is also in the top 10% of programs nationally ranking in the Top 100.

 
His passion for athletics and dance at RHS played a fundamental role in his success. The story he shared with us demonstrates the power that extracurricular activities can have on a student's life as they navigate their journey into adulthood.
 
Here is his story:
 
"When my parents had me, I was the youngest child. I was born after two girls, so I’ve always been the only boy. My family and I lived in Dover, where my mom grew up. When I turned six, my parents were able to work hard enough and move my sisters and I out of Dover and into Randolph. They did this so that we could have a better education and lifestyle. I was lucky because I started here in first grade, but my middle sister started in middle school and my oldest sister started in high school, and it can be hard to make friends when you move to a new town and people have already established friend groups. Around the time I moved to Randolph, my love for sports was growing. I played basketball, football, baseball, and ran track. It definitely helped me create friendships, some that have lasted to this day. As life went on, I began to get hooked on basketball more than anything else. My teammates were great guys, and playing was always a joy. It became even more fun when we got to High School and the games became very serious. My senior year, I played on varsity and we had a great season. I’m glad I got to play for this town because not only did my teammates turn into my brothers, but the parents here are so supportive. It’s amazing. No matter where we play, they would always come out and cheer us on. Win, lose, or draw they would tell us good games and that they were proud. Without their support, we would have been a completely different team every year.
 
While basketball was what I spent a lot of my time on in school, I also had a joy for dance. When I was younger, both of my sisters were in the high school dance program and in June I got to watch them perform what they had been learning all year. I would always be amazed by the guys who danced. Whenever they had a solo everyone would go crazy. I wanted to follow in my sisters’ footsteps and perform just like they did. All four years of school, I did dance. It was a great change of pace from my normal classes where you sit and write notes down all period. I made some really great friends in dance and when the time came for us to perform on the stage at the end of the year, our bond really helped bring the show together. Even though I didn’t get to perform my senior year, it was still fun being able to take dance and have the experience.
 
For college, I applied to 4 schools, with UMBC being my top choice. When I got my acceptance letter, I was relieved because the anxiety of waiting had finally been lifted, and I finally knew where the next chapter of my life would be. I’m excited to go to UMBC because I’m ready to meet new people and see what the world is like outside of New Jersey. I’m ready to start my computer science major and learn how to make games that I’ve wanted to create since I was young. Growing up in Randolph really set me up well for the future because they set a standard, and make you work hard to meet it. The classes are not always easy, but they teach you problem solving that will help a lot at the next level of education. I’m proud to say that I’m a Randolph High School alumnus, and I thank the school for setting me up for success."