By Nadia Jackson
Senior, Emma Rafferty, has found comfort and home within Centennial and the Pueblo community as a whole. Her involvement in a wide variety of activities has helped them flourish, and has aided in her personal development throughout high school.
While Rafferty has approached life generally lightheartedly, she still felt it was important to confront high school seriously, as she knew those grades would decide the course of her future. This approach is the reason Emma currently holds three academic letters.
Beyond the classroom, Rafferty has excelled in her engagement with Centennial’s Health Occupations Student Association (HOSA) for the past two years. Last year she had the honor of competing at HOSA state, where she and senior, Courtney Smith, placed in the top ten for their career display board.
Throughout high school, Rafferty has also earned two varsity track and field letters, two varsity cross country letters, and membership in Spanish National Honor Society, but majority of her time has been spent with the Sangre de Cristo School of Dance and 4H, respectively.
Rafferty began dancing at SDC School of Dance at just three years old, after she fell in love with their production of The Nutcracker. Fourteen years later, Emma Rafferty has begun preparation for her debut in The Nutcracker with the principal role of the Sugarplum Fairy in this year’s video production.
Rafferty has worked countless hours in her lifetime in order to earn such a prestigious role, averaging 18+ hours of ballet, contemporary, and jazz classes each week, in addition to multiple hours of rehearsal. Though the time commitment can be overwhelming, Emma feels that watching herself improve and strengthen has almost always made the struggle worth it.
Rafferty initiated her involvement in 4H her 7th grade year, as her parents felt this would help her connect with other kids with her same interests and would potentially lead to future scholarship opportunities. As the years have progressed, Rafferty has been elected as representative of livestock committee, secretary of shooting sports council, and president of her club where she organizes and distributes the information shared during monthly meetings.
Furthermore, Rafferty has consistently competed in muzzleloader, market turkeys, breeding chickens, dairy goats, and the photography events hosted by 4H in the county fair. She has earned grand champion showmanship for poultry, reserved grand champion for market poultry, placed third for market turkey at state and was a three year state qualifier in photography and two year state qualifier for muzzleloader.
As Emma begins her preparation for college and beyond, she often looks back fondly on all of the memories she has made as a Bulldog. From the stressful weeks of clinicals during her nurse aid class in which she practiced skills with her friends, to shopping in Denver during HOSA state, to the endless football games she has attended, Rafferty’s relationship with Centennial and the Pueblo community has helped her grow into the vibrant young woman is today. She feels that the connections she has developed through these activities have given her the skills to navigate interacting with many different types of people.
After graduation Rafferty plans on getting into a nursing program and working towards becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner - a dream that has motivated her to continually work hard. She hopes to attend either Montana State or CU Denver to pursue her degree.
While some students find it difficult to navigate the many demands of high school, while also maintaining a fulfilling social life, senior, Emma Rafferty, has found a steady balance during her high school career. She has managed to maintain her academic standing, athletic ability, and extra curricular involvement. She is truly a light at Centennial and the community as a whole.