Alumni Spotlight

Abby Patrick (SRCS Class of 2017, Valedictorian)

School: University of Florida
Major: Advertising (with a concentration in Tourism, Recreation and Events)

  • Deans List:
    • Fall 2017
    • Spring 2018
    • Fall 2018
    • Fall 2019
    • Fall 2020
  • President’s List (4.0 Semester GPA while taking at least 15 credits):
    • Spring 2019
    • Spring 2020

1. What have you been up to since graduation?
Shortly after graduating from SRCS in 2017, I moved to Gainesville, Florida, and began my
college career at the University of Florida as an advertising major with a concentration in
tourism, recreation and events. Some of my most valuable experiences at UF include obtaining social media internships with the Florida Gators and a Gainesville medical non-profit, being elected Recruitment Director for my sorority (Phi Mu) and joining The Agency, a UF student-staffed advertising agency that has given me the opportunity to work with real-world clients, including big brands like Coca-Cola. This semester, I’m excited to be participating in a practicum with ESPN Gainesville where I will be learning more about their social media operations on various platforms.

2. In what ways did your academic pursuits at SR best prepare you for the academic
expectations at college?

The courses I took at SRCS, especially AP classes, prepared me for the rigor of the courses I’ve taken in college. Experiencing that level of expectation in high school led me to develop high personal standards early on that I have relied on throughout college and that I attribute my collegiate success to.

3. What are your plans after graduating?
After I graduate, I hope to work in the communications department for a sports team or athletic organization, specifically within social media or branding. If not sports, I’d like to work in communications within the tourism industry. Ultimately, I’d love to work for a brand that unites people from a variety of backgrounds for a common cause or passion, just like sports do. I hope to earn a career that allows me to help foster the relationship between a brand, whether it be a theme park or football team, and its fans.

4. What has been your favorite part about your college experience?
My favorite part of my time at UF has been the opportunity to fulfill my childhood dreams and accomplish more than I ever expected to. I’ve been a Gator fan for as long as I can remember, and attending over 50 Gator athletic events in the last four years and experiencing the enthusiasm of the Gator Nation first-hand are moments I will never take for granted. These experiences and my love for sports have played a huge role in my career path and ultimately led me to my greatest collegiate accomplishment: becoming a social media intern for the Florida Gators through the University Athletic Association.

5. Looking back how do you feel like your time at Strong Rock prepared you for college and for your career ahead?
My time at Strong Rock helped me develop the work ethic necessary to accomplish my goals in college and beyond. The opportunities I had at SRCS like AP and Honors classes, close relationships with teachers and staff and extracurricular activities helped me recognize my skills and passions and how I could utilize them to prepare for college and my career. Aside from academics, Strong Rock helped me establish a foundation for my faith that I have been able to build upon in college. The faith I developed at SRCS allowed me to enter college knowing what I wanted to pursue spiritually, which has helped me confidently mature in my faith and make it my own.