It’s easy to imagine Charlie O’Rourke sitting at the head of a board room table as a Fortune 500 company’s chief executive officer. The Huntington High School senior is already displaying signs that he has what it takes to be one of America’s corporate elite.
Huntington High School senior Charlie O'Rourke
The teenager’s earliest days in the district were spent attending Flower Hill Primary School. He’s always had plenty of friends around him and likewise commanded the respect and affection of his teachers. His potential was clearly evident even as an elementary school student.
The senior’s academic schedule includes classes in Advanced Placement Calculus, AP Micro/Macro Economics, Physics, Film/Short Story and Virtual Enterprise.
Following a grueling interview process that included participation from high school Principal Brenden Cusack and Huntington UFSD Superintendent James W. Polansky, Mr. O’Rourke was chosen as the CEO of his Virtual Enterprise class’ company; BioSol.
Mr. O’Rourke is articulate, energetic and a leader in every sense of the word. He’s a “take charge” kind of guy who likes to take on new projects and challenges and runs with them.
“I am applying to several colleges such as Bentley University, Boston College, Fairfield and Fordham,” Mr. O’Rourke said. “I plan to apply early decision to Villanova University. I have wanted to study business and more specifically finance my entire life. My mom would take me on walks through the financial district when we lived in New York City when I was a toddler and I fell in love with the hectic energy from a young age.”
Vice president and treasurer of the Huntington High School Habitat for Humanity chapter, Mr. O’Rourke is also on Huntington Robotics’ business team. He has already garnered the admiration of his Virtual Enterprise classmates as BioSol’s CEO.
A member of the Young Leaders youth development organization, Mr. O’Rourke was inducted in Huntington’s National Honor Society, Science Honor Society, English Honor Society and Social Studies Honor Society as a junior. He will be on the Blue Devil varsity lacrosse team next spring.
“Huntington has given me the opportunity to have so many close friends that I could probably list close to 20 names of people that I would consider my closest so it would be impossible to narrow it down to a few, but without a doubt Huntington allowed me to maintain a very sound friend group,” Mr. O’Rourke said.
Those friends and classmates hold the senior in high regard. “Charlie is a great guy,” senior Marissa Stafford said. “I consider him one of my closest friends. He is so motivated and driven. I know he is going to be so successful when he’s older.”
It might be hard to impress teenagers, but the members of Huntington’s Class of 2020 are clearly impressed by Mr. O’Rourke and for good reason.
“I’ve known Charlie for my whole life and he is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever been friends with,” senior Jon Koumas said. “I can talk to that kid for hours at a time and am always amazed by what he has to say and by how smart he is. I know he’s going to be extremely successful in life.”
The teenager traveled to Ireland leading up to his freshman year and journeyed to New Orleans last year with Habitat for Humanity. He plans to go to Puerto Rico next February with Habitat to work on rebuilding efforts following devastating Hurricane Maria.
While Mr. O’Rourke qualifies by any measure as being “driven” and a hard worker, he also likes to kick back and relax. “I love going to beach and spending time in the ocean,” he said.
The senior is an excellent student and he has taken many of the high school’s most challenging courses. He gets along well with every faculty member.
“My all-time favorite teacher would have to be Mr. [Michael] Graziano,” Mr. O’Rourke said. “He truly made me excited to come into his class and learn geometry freshman year. He also has past experience in business and often shared incredible life lessons and advice.”
Although he has so much more to accomplish this year, especially as the CEO of his Virtual Enterprise class company, Mr. O'Rourke is thinking ahead to college and also reminiscing about his time in Huntington UFSD.
“I couldn’t be more thankful to have grown up in such an amazing town,” Mr. O’Rourke said. “From a young age, this town has taught me to always work hard and be profoundly kind to others. As I begin my next chapter in life, I am very confident the lessons I have learned from growing up as a Blue Devil will always stay with me and help me succeed in life.”