August 9, 2022 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Upcoming SJO graduate Lewis ‘excited’ to take next step at University of Kentucky

Hannah Lewis always wanted to go to college out of state.


She traveled to Alabama and Florida trying to find the perfect fit.


She found it four and a half hours away from St. Joseph, in Lexington, Ky.


“After visiting six other universities, I knew that I loved the campus and the opportunities that the University of Kentucky had to offer,” Lewis said.


Lewis will be majoring in Human-Health Sciences, which is pre-medical studies.


Lewis said after visiting a number of campuses, it was easy to decide which ones to apply to. The tough part of actually choosing which one she would attend came later.


Lewis was accepted to all of her favorite universities.


“I really had to decide what school I would be happiest at,” she said. “The University of Kentucky had everything I was looking for.”


The University of Kentucky was the first school that Lewis applied to. However, other schools sent her acceptance letters in a more timely fashion.


“I got anxious,” Lewis said.


She took matters into her own hands, went online to check her application status and was relieved to see a big, blue “congratulations” appear on the screen.


“I yelled for my parents and texted my friends about the news,” Lewis said. “I was very excited.”


Lewis said her parents were happy she decided to attend the University of Kentucky and even happier it was relatively close to St. Joseph.


“They are also excited for me to take the next step in my life,” Lewis said. “They were proud that I decided to leave the area for college, too.”


Despite looking to the future, Lewis is also taking a moment to reflect on her time at St. Joseph-Ogden High School.


She said she will miss the amazing community she grew up in and her favorite teachers at SJO. 


From being a stat girl for the football team, taking part in the We the People competition and playing softball, Lewis has numerous great memories from her time as a Spartan.


“My favorite memory from SJO would have to be being a stat girl for the football team,” she said. “I loved the atmosphere and getting to be on the sidelines to watch my favorite sport was unforgettable.”


Lewis said SJO has taught her to take advantage of all the opportunities presented to you.


“Even if it may be a little out of your comfort zone,” she said, “it will be worth it in the end.”


Lewis, who will be speaking at graduation on Sunday afternoon, said she is looking forward to seeing all her classmates and teachers in one place for the last time.


“It will be sad,” she said, “but exciting at the same time.”

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