By Jennifer Kim, Marple Newtown Patch
Each week, Marple Newtown Patch will seek suggestions from readers for individual kids, youth groups, teens, and even sports teams that wow us with their accomplishments. This week, we highlight soon-to-be senior Sean Ridinger of Marple Newtown High School for his success both on and off the field as a student and as an athlete.
Patch Whiz Kid of the Week: Sean Ridinger
Whiz Kid’s Age: 17
Whiz Kid’s School: Marple Newtown High School
Whiz Kid’s Accomplishment: Sean was class president for all three years he’s been in high school and this soon-to-be senior is a member of the student council, a board member for the National Honor Society, and ranked in the top 10 percent of his class. And if that isn’t enough, his success outside the classroom can also be seen as he plays on the boys lacrosse team and has been named football captain this fall. In addition, Sean volunteers when he can even if it means hopping from one place to another (he went straight from the after-prom party BreakFest to volunteer feeding the hungry).
Whiz Kid’s Key to Awesomeness: So what really drives this all-around, over-achieving student to be the best that he can be?
Sean let’s us in on his secret: to be accepted into the Naval Academy after he graduates from high school. He is a candidate for the Naval Academy and just recently completed a six-day summer seminar about the Naval Academy.
“I suppose it doesn’t really matter where you go (you can join the ROTC at several colleges and universities), but my goal is the Naval Academy,” shared Sean. “It’s my number one choice. I kind of always wanted to go there since I was 6, after I watched Top Gun. I guess it’s been kind of my driving force that’s been pushing me academically.”
His natural competitiveness is not only seen as a middle linebacker/right guard for the Tigers’ football team or close defense for the lacrosse team, but as well as on exams and papers.
“I guess I just try my best. If I see someone work hard, I try to work harder,” said Sean. “I try to work hard in every field.”
So, how does this all-American student do it all? “It’s all about taking one step at a time. If I’m playing on sports–I’ll just focus on that and when I get home, I try to focus on doing my homework and studying.”
Last month, Sean was chosen by the Marple American Legion to participate (among an approximate 200 students from across the state) in the American Legion Keystone Boys State leadership program. The week-long educational program engages students in working and understanding how the structure and operation of a state government works.
“I enjoyed it a lot,” said Sean. “I met a lot of interesting people from around the state. There was a lot of sports and team-building stuff. The whole government process is interesting.”
Although he doesn’t see himself pursuing a career in politics, Sean hopes to work “more hands-on,” perhaps as an engineer or a defense contractor, he said. (Math and science are some of his favorite subjects because “I like solving things.”)
Though he has some time to think about what he wants to do in the future, Sean is looking forward to his senior year playing one last time with the Tigers and leading the football team in the fall. He also said he’s going to try to attend as many sports events as he can.
One piece of advice that his parents told him and has always kept with him is: Whatever you do, do it with all your best, and try not to complain a lot.”
It appears that Sean is doing just that and more.