Seamus Quilty, Carmel Catholic High School

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 he’ll pursue an engineering degree at the University of Notre Dame. While balancing volunteering, student council and church retreats, Quilty also earned straight A’s all four years at Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein and a perfect score on the ACT. And he’s no stranger to the field, either. He played four years for his high school’s 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.” Quilty’s Latin teacher, Michele Bertaud, said he’s the kind of student who’s in school to learn, not just earn a score for a transcript. “He’s conscientious of grades, but it’s 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 isn’t too shy to speak up in class but is far from a showoff. “He’s never condescending about other students not knowing answers,” she said. “He’s always willing to help and encourage others. He’s a team player.” — Bridget Doyle
Tribune photo by Terrence Antonio James
Copyright © 2018, CT Now