Emma Desrochers. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Emma Desrochers. SUBMITTED PHOTO

WATERBORO — When Emma Desrochers stepped into the halls of Massabesic High School four short years ago, she told her mom she “didn’t want any regrets” upon graduating from the Waterboro school.

And, when she walks across the stage of the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland to accept her diploma tonight, she said she won’t have any.

“I told my mom I’d do everything I possibly could,” she said, but noted, “It still kinds of shocks me how much I’ve done.”

Desrochers is graduating third in the class of 235 students tonight. And, as the class’s honor essayist, she’s done much at her time in high school.

An award-winning athlete, she’s received numerous Southern Maine Activities Association awards, including Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player for field hockey, basketball and lacrosse. She’s played field hockey, basketball and lacrosse for four years, and had just enough time to complete a phone interview in between a lacrosse game and her Senior Night activities Wednesday evening.



She received the Journal Tribune Most Valuable Player Award for field hockey and, in May, was selected as a member of news station WCSH6’s Varsity Club.

Academically, she’s also an MVP, having been a high honor roll student and Student of the Month, and the recipient of awards for math, science, AP U.S. History and English.

Despite her athletic and academic achievements, she’ll be most proud of her work to improve the lives of others, including 439 community service hours spent volunteering at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, the Veterans Home in Scarborough and other local organizations.

“I’ll be more proud of how much I’ve affected other people and that was really my goal, which was to impact other people’s lives,” she said.

She advised those coming to MHS as freshmen to see there are solutions to every problem.

“Nothing is as bad or terrible as it seems,” she said. “Take a step back, release a breath and look at it from every angle.”

For those graduating next year, she also has some advice: “don’t sell yourself short.”

“I’ve talked to so many seniors who only applied to college they knew they could get into,” she said, noting her acceptance to Yale to study biomedical engineering is a “miracle.”

But be brave, said the graduate, who is the first in her family to attend a four-year college, much less an Ivy League institution.

“The worst that could happen is they say ‘no,'” she said. “Know who you are and know who want to be.”

Massabesic High School Class of 2017 Graduation
When: 7 p.m. June 8
Where: Cross Insurance Arena, 1 Civic Center Square, Portland
No. of Graduates: 235
Valedictorian: Leah Ryan
Salutatorian: Hope Saucier
Honor Essayist: Emma Desrochers
Speaker: Principal James Hand

CORRECTION: A version of this article that ran in today’s (June 8) print edition incorrectly listed the major Desrochers intends to study at Yale University. She intends to study biomedical engineering.

— Staff Writer Alan Bennett can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 329 or [email protected]

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