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Messalonskee Senior Serves As Motivation For All Kids 

In just a few months, high school seniors across Maine will be graduating and heading off to college.This june, Carolyn Holz will graduate at or near the top of her class at Messalonskee High School in Oakland. But her accolades go far beyond the classroom. “I’ve played soccer, basketball, and track,” Holz says. “I’ve been on the math team since I was a freshman and actually went to the states with them when I was in the 8th grade.” She’s also part of the robotics team that will compete against global competition next month. With that sort of resume, it’s no surprise she’s coveted by some of the finest colleges in the country. “I’ve gotten into MIT and I’m still deciding. There’s four other schools I’m still applying to and I’m hearing back. I heard back from RIT yesterday so.”But it hasn’t been exactly a smooth ride for Holz or her family. Two years ago, her 6-year-old sister suffered a stroke. Holz got the shocking news at lunch while her parents were on their way to Portland to be with her ailing sister. “I was scared for the rest of the day and I had a game that night so it was hard to get my head into it.”Her sister has steadily improved, but the whole ordeal has been tough on the family. “She’s been working really hard and had to go to therapy a lot and my parents have had to support her throughout so it’s been hard to watch her.”Watching her daughter excel through all of this, has certainly made mom proud. “Very proud of her,” says Althea Holz, who seems to beam with pride as she speaks of her daughter. “She’s really worked hard and been a big support for the family. I’ve been able to lean on her as much as she’s been able to lean on me.”Holz says she’s leaning toward MIT in the fall, but she’s still weighing her options. As for her plans after college, she’s already made up her mind. To the surprise of few that know her Carolyn Holz plans to put her smarts, determination, and drive to good use and make a career out of helping people. “Definitely engineering,” she says. “I’m thinking electrical and with my work with the robotics team I’d really like to make that a robotics thing. Maybe with robotic surgery or arms and legs for amputees.”