SAN ANTONIO – As if being a senior in high school during the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t hard enough, imagine being the one leading your class as valedictorian.
That’s the case for, Emily Hofmann.
Despite the life challenges that have come her way, Emily is just one of hundreds of graduates from East Central High School looking forward to attending college.
At the top of her class, she already knows she wants to be a doctor.
“I can visualize it today, her working on the floor, wearing scrubs, and making the difference in the lives of young children” principal Shane McKay said.
When Emily was just an infant, she was diagnosed with a heart condition known as V-S-D.
“I was born with a congenital heart defect, called a ventricular septal defect. it’s basically a small hole between your two ventricles,” Emily said.
While the star student doesn’t remember the surgery as being only six-months old at the time, it made a big impact on her family.
Her mother, Karen Hofmann, said when she thinks back to that time, she remembers it being emotional and intense. Yet through that, faith kept their family strong.
It's that kind of emotion that ultimately inspired Emily to work in medicine.
She plans to become a cardiac doctor, eventually hoping to return to the very same hospital that she had open heart surgery as a baby.
But for the time being, she is staying positive even though the coronavirus pandemic has drastically impacted such a special time for her and her classmates.
Before the class of 2020 moves on to the next phase of their lives, she shared a few words of advice.
“I hope they remember in the future to really live in the moment and enjoy what you have while it’s around you and just not take things for granted,” she said.
Hofmann’s pre-recorded valedictorian speech will be posted online May 30 for her drive-thru graduation.
She’s set to attend the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado.