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Student Spotlights: Haley Westerholt, Aerospace Scholarship Winner & Figure Skater

By February 14, 2018March 16th, 2018Student Spotlight

Last month, you saw the story of an Idaho teen who is a surfer. Not something you’d expect to hear in Idaho! (You can read that story here).

This month, we bring the story of a teen figure skater. It certainly makes a little more sense with the Idaho weather. But what’s unique about this student is she’s also a great scientist. She’s recently won a scholarship to take an online course with NASA. Read this ambitious teen’s story below.

The Story of Haley Westerholt

Haley Westerholt

Haley is a junior here at iSucceed who enjoys mountain biking, white-water rafting, hiking, skateboarding, snowboarding–just about anything outdoors. Really, she enjoys having several different hobbies.

“I guess I am unique because I have a lot of different interests,” said Haley. “I enjoy art and being creative, but I also enjoy the outdoors and nature. I enjoy things like science, space, and the ocean, and I have a more serious dedicated side with my figure skating. I like a little bit of everything and believe that if you love something, you should make it part of your life because it’s what you are interested in and it makes you who you are!”

Although varied in her interests, Haley’s focus is driven. She has been a competitive skater for the past three years while maintaining a high GPA.

Haley & Figure Skating

Haley Westerholt

Many figure skaters start their career at three years old. Haley discovered her love for the sport at 14.

“I first stepped on the ice three years ago over the holiday break with a friend,” said Haley. “I went home and jokingly asked my mom what would happen if I became a figure skater, and she took it seriously and asked me if I actually wanted to! After a week of thinking about it, I said yes and began lessons in January of 2015. After skating for a year, I decided I wanted to go further and compete! So I have been competing for two years now. I usually compete locally, I’ve competed in Portland, OR, Sun Valley, McCall and, of course, here in Boise.”

Starting her figure skating career late hasn’t stopped her dreams short. Haley aspires to be on a professional skating team one day, and maybe even join the Olympics.

“I have a few goals for my skating. My main goal is to have a big accomplishment in my skating career so that when I’m old I don’t regret not fully going for it and making something out of it,” said Haley. “This could include traveling with an Ice Show, like Disney on Ice or competing Internationally & representing my country in the Grand Prix Series. I would absolutely LOVE to go to the Olympics! I have it all planned out so I can get to the 2022 Olympics, we’ll see if I make it. :)”

Haley & Aerospace

Although she has big plans for her figure skating, it does not stop Haley from pursuing academics. Haley is the first student at iSucceed to qualify for the Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars (ISAS) program.

This is a competitive program. Getting accepted to this program involves interviews, a short essay and good grades as a prerequisite.

Once accepted, students get to take an online course through NASA focused on space exploration. The completed course will count dually as a college credit.

“My mom texted me something along the lines of “honey you got accepted!” I quickly opened my email to see if I got the acceptance email. I did and I was so excited! My grandparents then messaged me as well and it was a really happy day.

After the excitement set in, I read the whole email. I had thought everyone who applied got into the first part of the program, but then a few days later I was told that there were a lot of people who wanted my spot. That made it a whole lot more special and cool that I was chosen to be in the program! I’ve never been accepted into anything like this before, so it’s very exciting and I can’t wait to see what comes out of it!”

We are proud of Haley’s accomplishments and can’t wait to see what she does next!

  • What do you think of Haley’s story? Share your encouraging thoughts in the comments below!

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