Many high school seniors are ready to hit the road, but Samantha Hurley wants to squeeze every opportunity out of her last year in high school.
She spent last summer at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. “I looked at fashion colleges. There wasn’t anything else I hoped to do. I found FIT and fell in love with it,” she said.
Hurley, who is working at Azura Clothing in Rehoboth Beach this summer, planned to major in merchandising – buying and selling clothes.
“I like fashion because it’s a way of expressing yourself,” she said. Now a senior at Cape Henlopen High School, she finds her interests are changing.
Italian is her favorite class and she takes University of Delaware English classes through Academic Challenge.
It’s a tough class, with more homework than normal courses, Hurley said, but it’s easier because, as in college, students have a week to complete the homework.
“I feel like it will help me when I’m in college,” she said.
“I want to learn everything I can in college, so I have everything I need to make a good decision,” Hurley said.
With her interests turning to culture and language, the Lewes resident says she now wants to pursue international affairs in college.
“I wanted to do fashion merchandising – I was big into that. But, all of a sudden, I decided I wanted to do something more academic, with language and culture,” said Hurley, who speaks thoughtfully and incisively about her plans. “I’m very excited about doing study abroad in college,” she said.
So far this year, she’s taken a human geography, statistics and marine science in addition to her English and Italian classes. She’s also has taken four years of Spanish at Cape.
She said she watches and reads the news a lot and is interested in different cultures.
“I like learning about the different ways people live. Most are so different from the way we live with so much technology,” she said.
“I like to try hard. As soon as I get my mind set on something, it’s all I focus on. It’s generally a good thing, but sometimes it’s bad,” said Hurley, laughing.
She’s also the president of Cape’s Leo Club. “It’s basically like what Key Club is for Kiwanis,” she said. The club’s activities are often coordinated with the Lions’ Club, she said.
The Leo Club has put on a dinner for the blind and a breakfast with Santa, Hurley said. Club officers were just inducted recently, Hurley said. She also volunteers with Honor Society and plans to continue volunteer and community-service work in college.
“I want to help people who can’t help themselves, or who just need help,” she said. “It’s not even about getting their appreciation. Knowing that I helped someone is better to me.”
Hurley said her friends and family have also been key parts of her high-school experience. “People really branch out from their little middle school groups. The friends I have now, I’ll probably stay close with through college,” she said.
Besides a busy academic schedule, Hurley has played tennis since she was in the eighth-grade. “I like how it’s both an athletic sport and mentally challenging,” said Hurley, who is petite, stylish and athletic. She spends part of her summers competing in tennis tournaments around the state.
Hurley’s mother introduced her to tennis. “I play with my parents a lot,” she said. “Whatever tennis court I can find that’s open, that’s where I go,” she said.
“My family is really important to me. It’s a big part of my life and making sure I have the right people with me,” Hurley said.