Tribune photo by Terrence Antonio James
April 17, 2012
While watching physically disabled athletes play soccer, run track and swim laps, Seamus Quilty found inspiration for his own life.
Regardless of physical impairment, these people are competing in athletics, said Quilty, 18, who now volunteers with the Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association, a group that promotes and aids physically impaired athletics. Someone designed the adaptive equipment to help them succeed. Working with them helped me see engineering at work.
In his four years volunteering with GLASA, Quilty said he discovered a way to take his knack for science and math and turn it into a career where he can help others. Next year hell pursue an engineering degree at the University of Notre Dame.
While balancing volunteering, student council and church retreats, Quilty also earned straight As all four years at Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein and a perfect score on the ACT.
And hes no stranger to the field, either. He played four years for his high schools football team and three years on the baseball team.
Quilty said neither grades nor athletics come easy for him. I always put in the extra hours on the field and at school.
Quiltys Latin teacher, Michele Bertaud, said hes the kind of student whos in school to learn, not just earn a score for a transcript.
Hes conscientious of grades, but its not just about scoring 100 percent, Bertaud said. He wants to pick up the knowledge that goes with it. The A represents what he knows.
Bertaud said Quilty isnt too shy to speak up in class but is far from a showoff.
Hes never condescending about other students not knowing answers, she said. Hes always willing to help and encourage others. Hes a team player.