Throughout his time at Emmaus, Aidan Connolly has proven himself to be a well-rounded student and active outdoorsman. He is the president of the Envirothon Club, a member of National Honor Society, Outdoor Adventure Club, and the Esquires Jazz Band, as well as participating on the boys soccer team and in National History Day. In his free time, he practices carpentry, works at Rustik Rehab Design, LLC in Emmaus and runs his own spoon-carving business, Sylvan Carpentry.
Passionate about the sciences, Connolly will be attending the University of Vermont to study environmental engineering in the fall.
The Stinger: What inspired you to go into environmental engineering?
Connolly: Just a bunch of things. The 50th anniversary of Earth Day was a big thing, [it had been] 50 years of saving the planet, wanting to make a difference in the world by conserving it. I would also say that I took a class, Environmental Sustainability, this year with Ms. Susens and that pushed me forward into the field of environmental engineering
The Stinger: What was your favorite class at EHS?
Connolly: I have to say, Architectural Design to Build. It didn’t run this year, but it ran last year. It was a class with Mr. Smith and we just learned about architectural techniques and I really just built stuff in more of a hands-on way. It really boosted my interest in school in general.
The Stinger: How do you think you’ve changed since freshman year?
Connolly: Since freshman year, I definitely opened up more. Like freshman year I wouldn’t be able to stand in front of people and talk or play an instrument, but now I’ve learned techniques and I can stand and ramble about anything or play any tune in front of a group of people. I also have expanded my interests in a bunch of things, like woodworking for example, I came upon that my junior year… I got into mountain biking through high school, rock climbing, just a bunch of different hobbies doing different things.
The Stinger: If you could give any advice to the underclassmen, what would it be?
Connolly: Enjoy your time here, don’t put too much stress on everything you do and work hard.
The Stinger: What will you miss about EHS?
Connolly: I’ll probably just miss the regular ebb and flow of the school year in general.
The Stinger: Who’s your inspiration?
Connolly: I wouldn’t account it to a single person, it’s definitely a few of the faculty at Emmaus, to name a few, Mr. Smith and Ms. Susens. A big inspiration for me, you have to say your parents, and just really my friends, too. A lot of my friends just inspire me, just working with them, it could be anything from learning to do something on skis, or do something on a mountain bike, or learn a new tune on the trumpet, say like, when I worked with Dylan Micheal and Nate Garcia with Spiders Dressed in Red, I had to learn a bunch of new things with that and it inspired me to learn new tunes on my trumpet. I can’t name it to a single person.
The Stinger: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned over high school?
Connolly: Be confident in yourself. Don’t let things around you or your nerves stop you from being yourself. Put yourself out there, and don’t really care about what people think about what you said.
The Stinger: You’re an outdoorsy person. How did you come about that, and how does that impact your life?
Connolly: My mom is very outdoorsy, so I was always exposed to that stuff [from a young age]. I got really, really into all these outdoor activities, such as skiing. Skiing was really the first step of the stone, so I really got into skiing every winter, it was freaking amazing… then around freshman year, I learned how to mountain bike and I was terrified of doing that. Like, how do you ride a bike over freaking rocks? But then I started getting into it, and it’s hard to compare to skiing but you’re going pretty fast through the outdoors. Hiking [as well]. And I got into rock climbing a year ago. All of that stuff, it’s not necessarily about the danger of it all, it’s just that you get to exercise and just be outside in nature and that’s just amazing.
The Stinger: What do you hope to accomplish after graduation?
Connolly: To keep all of my interests in check, and keep doing my activities, such as skiing, mountain biking, playing the trumpet, all that stuff, and to just see what happens next, if that involves environmental engineering, or a completely different career path that I haven’t thought of yet.