Editor’s note: The Daily Inter Lake is following up with six young adults who were profiled as high school seniors in a series recognizing noteworthy graduates from the Class of 2016 that highlighted students who turned challenges into personal triumphs.
Life after high school can change in dramatic ways. Some people immediately find a path and follow it. Others find themselves at a crossroads or adrift in possibilities. Goals may stay the same or be revised as priorities change.
Alex Curry, 20, is still discovering what makes him happiest.
The Whitefish Independent High School graduate had planned to attend community college for a culinary arts degree after high school, but things have changed.
While he still has a hand in the culinary world as a line cook at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, the former football athlete’s ultimate goal is to become a professional fighter. When he’s not working, Curry said he spends his time training in kick boxing, jujitsu and boxing. He understands that it may take several years to climb the ladder in the world of professional fighting, but he’s enjoying the process.
“I like fighting. I’ve done it for a little bit now. My parents want me to join the military. I decided to do something I like,” Curry said, noting that entering the military is not completely off the table.
His primary goal right now is to become a U.S. citizen — and save money to buy a car. Currently, he is a permitted resident.
“I’m studying now for a citizenship test,” Curry said.
In eighth grade, Curry moved to Montana from a village in the Eastern European country Moldova. When his mother began looking to secure visas in seeking a better life in the U.S., she encouraged him to study English, but he didn’t think any of it would come to fruition.
Yet, it did, and learning English became an obstacle in adjusting to life in his new home. He still struggles, but the anxiety of speaking English has significantly lessened over time. Curry had a few more obstacles before making it to graduation — which remains one of his proudest moments — and being part of Whitefish’s Class A state football championship.
In his journey to graduate he survived a rollover car crash his junior year (walking away with only scratches); suffered a cracked vertebra in a football injury his senior year; and had to learn to put aside a partying lifestyle and regain his focus on school to earn his diploma.
After he becomes a U.S. citizen, he would like to get a new passport. Someday he would like to return to Moldova to visit family.
“I still have grandparents and cousins out there. My mom’s sister lives in Russia. I haven’t seen my cousins and niece in over eight years,” Curry said.
He sees the possibilities of his future and is keeping an open mind if the direction changes.
“Since I know what I want to do now, it’s easier to have a goal,” he added. “It became my conclusion to do something in life you want to do. If you don’t succeed take a different path.”
Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.