2006-05-25 / News

Six Jamestown college graduates talk about plans for their promising futures

By Sam Bari

When asked what they had in mind for their immediate future, university graduates from Jamestown gave some decisive and responsible answers. They not only take their personal futures seriously, they show concern for the wellbeing of the planet and its inhabitants.

Alexis Coppola, 21, a University of Rhode Island student, graduated with a double major in women's studies and political science and won the President's Award in women's studies. Now she is going to Africa for 27 months as a Peace Corps volunteer. She plans to help with HIV prevention and sanitation work. "I think the work is important, and I'm not thinking of much beyond that. I'm sure I'll figure it out when the time comes. I'll probably end up doing something in international relations. But right now, I think I can help in an area where help is sorely needed, and that's what I want to do," she said.

Blakeley Schmidt, 22, also a University of Rhode Island graduate, majored in communications and public relations. She plans on going to Spain this summer to complete her studies and then travel across Europe. In addition to her university education, Blakely completed a fellowship at StartingBloc, a non-profit organization based in New York City that is dedicated to creating the next generation of corporate citizens and social entrepreneurs. "Fellows complete a social innovation training and leadership program that focuses on topics at the intersection of business and society. StartingBloc gives us the necessary training and skills to become leaders and agents of change in companies, organizations, and communities where we live and work," she said. "I'll use the skills I learned at StartingBloc to network with like-minded people, and together, I believe we'll affect change for the better," she added.

Chris Engelhard, 22, of Reservoir Circle in Jamestown, graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn. Chris majored in music and psychology and is applying for work with cruise companies. "If the field I'm pursuing warrants it, I'll go back to school and get a graduate degree. Right now I want to see what's out there and figure out how I can make a living with my education," he said.

Chris' twin brother, David, graduated from Gustavus Adolphus University, also in St.

Paul, Minn. David earned his degree in psychology and is looking for a direct care position, which is hands-on work in his chosen field of expertise.

Alex B. DeMolles majored in psychology at the University of Rhode Island and graduated with high honors after maintaining a 3.55 grade-point average over his four year college career. He also attended the Community College of Rhode Island for two years, where he studied criminal justice. This summer Alex is participating in an internship with the South Kingstown harbormaster. He intends to pursue a career in law enforcement and get a job on a police force.

Sarah J. Allard, 23, graduated with a liberal studies degree from Salve Regina University. She plans on going back to school next fall to continue her education and study business and teaching. "Ultimately, I think I'd like to teach high school physical education. But right now, I'm the baker at Jitters Cafe in North Kingstown for the summer," she said.

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