Life’s twists and turns often lead to surprising places. Just ask Megan Erhardt. The Huntington High School senior never expected to be heading to a Connecticut college, but that’s exactly where she will be spending the next four years. The teenager has decided to attend the University of New Haven after an exhaustive process that saw her consider several other possibilities.
“I never saw myself going to a school in Connecticut,” Ms. Erhardt said. “For as long as I remembered, I wanted to attend school in the DC area. I first visited the University of New Haven during my sophomore year of high school and did not know what to expect. I visited more schools after that and never saw it as a contender. It was not until I went back during my senior year and walked onto the campus that I just knew that it was where I needed to be.”
Huntington High School senior Megan Erhardt.
The University of New Haven has everything that Ms. Erhardt has been looking for in a college, meeting her needs perfectly. “I love the connection that the students have with their peers and the professors and how all the forensic professors have had years of experience in the field,” she said. “Just walking onto the campus made me feel like I was home and that was when I knew that the University of New Haven was where I wanted to spend my next four years.”
Ms. Erhardt plans to pursue a degree in forensic biology with a concentration in human trafficking and language.
The senior considered George Mason University, University at Albany, Boston College and George Washington University, before choosing New Haven. “Each school that I considered and toured was so different from the last and seemed perfect for me, but was not the best option for my major,” Ms. Erhardt said.
A member of four separate academic honor societies, Ms. Erhardt serves at the English Honor Society’s secretary. She’s also the Key Club’s secretary and the social chair of the Huntington YMCA’s Leaders Club.
“Throughout my high school career, I have been lucky to be influenced by so many inspirational teachers,” Ms. Erhardt said. “One teacher in particular that is very close to me is my chorus teacher, Ms. [Victoria] Garbarino. She is the kind of teacher that you can trust instantly and go to for any situation. She has given me a newfound confidence and strength in myself that I am forever grateful for. Another influential teacher in the high school would be Mrs. [Deborah] Beck. She has helped me further my knowledge in biology and relate it to my future career. She also recommended me for an internship at Cold Spring Harbor Labs that has helped me learn more about working in a laboratory.”
Ms. Erhardt’s senior year academic schedule has included Advanced Placement Chemistry, AP Government and Politics, AP Statistics, Holocaust and Multicultural Literature, Forensics, Chamber Choir and Italian Honors.
“One of the biggest moments for me at Huntington would be the Key Club’s Target tour,” Ms. Erhardt said. “I was able to work with my fellow officers and Key Clubbers and go holiday shopping with underprivileged children throughout Huntington. It is truly eye-opening to see how grateful and appreciative the children are to have us shopping and spending the day with them. After leaving Target shopping tour I feel a sense of pride in my club for being able to participate and put on such a heartwarming event.”
Looking ahead, the teenager hopes to work in the Office of the New York City Chief Medical Examiner for a few years to gain some real experience in the field of forensic science. Her ultimate goal is to work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a forensic biologist.
“My past four years at Huntington High School have been some of the best years of my life,” Ms. Erhardt said. “I have been able to grow as a person and become more outgoing. Coming into high school, I was a shy and quiet student that would never speak in class. Over the past few years, I have come out of my shell and have become a more confident and charismatic person.
As I look toward the future, I will always remember the friends and classmates that were able to be there with me for, through all the ups and downs of life and high school. As senior year is about to end, I am forever grateful for the opportunities that Huntington has given me and I will miss every part of it.”