by Ed Riley
Chase Grimmett, a Running Start student who was a top graduate in Rochester High School’s 2012 senior class, carries a clear vision of what he wants out of life.
As a high school student he played varsity football, basketball, and baseball and had the potential of attending several universities on scholarships based on his athletic skills. It is, however, academics that hold his passion and what he believes is the key to his success in life. He is now a second-year Centralia College student with plans to work in marine biology.
Grimmett will attend Western Washington University to study marine biology next fall and plans to focus on coral reef ecology.
Marine biology is the perfect career for Grimmett: he is passionate about the environment and is an certified scuba diver with deep water and cave dives in Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest to his credit.
“Finishing my associate degree at Centralia College makes a lot more sense financially. Besides, the college has the advanced science classes I need for my degree in marine biology. And the Environmental Science department has amazing instructors who are experts in their fields,” Grimmett said. “The support I’ve received from the faculty has been incredible, they have really helped guide me in the direction I need for my degree.”
In fact, Grimmett was accepted and offered partial scholarships to attend Oregon State University, the University of Oregon, and Western Washington University. Grimmett puts it this way, “The scholarships would have only paid for about 40 percent of my tuition; my family would have had to come up with the rest. That’s an incredible amount of money. I don’t want my family to go into debt for my education.” With two scholarships from the Centralia College Foundation to help pay the way, his overall college costs will be much more manageable.
Grimmett also has his family to thank for his recognition of the importance of education and his career direction. His mother works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife department tracking endangered species, and his father is an instructor for special needs children.
In what little spare time Grimmett does have, he enjoys hiking and backpacking, and he takes lessons in Tae Kwon Do, and he still manages to work part time. Through his hard work and dedication, coupled with a clear vision for what he wants, he is certain to realize his dreams.