It started with a little girl’s interest in sea turtles, and flourished with a trip to the beaches of North Carolina just three years ago.
Now Lima Senior High School senior Raven Cress is just a few months from beginning her road to becoming a vet tech for aquatic animals.
“I have always wanted to work with marine animals but wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do,” she said. “Vet techs get to help the animals, so that is what I’ve decided on.”
The daughter of Amber and Travis Cress will start at the Lima campus of The Ohio State University and then transfer to the main campus, where she is hoping to secure an internship with the Columbus Zoo.
With a 4.0 grade-point average, Raven has the grades and commitment to make her dreams come true. She is a member of the National Honor Society and is ranked in the top five of her graduating class.
Much of Raven’s time at Lima Senior is spent in music classrooms or on the stage. She is in choir, show choir and the Spartannaires. She is also often a soloist at performances.
Raven plays the viola in the school orchestra and has been in the Lima Area Youth Orchestra for three years. She’s played since the fifth grade; deciding on the viola after seeing one at a conference.
“Ever since I just fell in love with it,” she said. “It’s different. It’s not what you would typically expect.”
Raven hopes to continue with music, possibly joining an orchestra and choir in college and maybe looking for some local professional groups to join. She wants to both sing and play the viola.
“I can’t live with one without the other,” she said. “I have to have both.”
On top of studying, performing and practicing on her own time for at least 15 hours a week, Raven also finds the time to work 20 hours a week at Donatos.
“When I am not working, I am dedicating my time to school and music,” she said.
Raven is grateful for the music opportunities the Lima City Schools has afforded her, and says she’s had a great experience.
“I have learned a whole lot more than I think I would have in any other district,” she said. “There were more opportunities for me in music here and classes to take that are unique.”