Hampton grad named college valedictorian
A high school anatomy class changed the course of Adrianna Ferraro's education that will culminate this month when she will give a commencement speech as the 2014 valedictorian of Wheeling Jesuit University.
Ferraro, a 2010 graduate of Hampton High School, will graduate from the school, in Wheeling, W. Va., with a bachelor of science degree in athletic training and the highest grade-point average in her class, a 4.0.
Ferraro was a point guard on Hampton's basketball team all four years of high school and was on the 2008 team that won the WPIAL Championships. When Ferraro was a senior at Hampton High School, she took an anatomy class and “fell in love with it.”
“My interest in the human body combined with being very active … I combined those two together, and I thought athletic training would be a good career to pursue,” Ferraro said.
Through the Wheeling Jesuit athletic training program, Ferraro has worked with different athletes and sports, including the men's rugby and baseball teams and women's soccer and women's volleyball team, which made it into the Division II semifinals last season.
Ferraro also is president of the Athletic Training Club.
Ferraro learned she was named valedictorian of her graduating class on April Fools' Day after a trip down to an administration office.
“I thought they were playing a joke on me,” Ferraro said. “I was shocked I had got it.”
She will address the 2014 graduating class as part of commencement ceremonies at the Alma Grace McDonough Center on May 17. The university will confer 421 degrees.
Ferraro said she drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela's quote, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” and recognized that education is not just limited to what is learned in the classroom.
“I'm trying to tell everybody as we leave Wheeling Jesuit we all have the power to go out and make a positive difference in people's lives,” Ferraro said.
Ferraro plans to move back to Hampton Township and spend the next year working as a certified athletic trainer. She is considering graduate work in athletic training or physical therapy.
Ferraro is the daughter of Lou and Julie Ferraro of Hampton.
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.