Lake Stevens High School graduate soaring to reach
Dykgraaf has been raised in Lake Stevens most of her life, and passed through the Lake Stevens School District schools from first to twelfth grade, and attended kindergarten in Granite Falls.
As the daughter of two educators, her mom Brenda, a second grade teacher at Mt. Pilchuck and her dad, Lynn a teacher at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, Dykgraaf and her older brother Brady, learned the importance of a great education and hard work.
“Emily has always had to work hard,” her mom Brenda explained. “It didn’t always come as easy to her as it did to Brady.”
After dreams of becoming a teacher herself dissipated early in middle school, and dreams of architecture took over, Dykgraaf realized that she had a strong interest in math and science and soon discovered that she would love to be able to attend one of the top science universities in the world, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT.
“MIT was the best school I could get into,” the extremely modest Dykgraaf said. “I knew I wanted to do math and science and engineering.”
Other talents emerged as Dykgraaf got older including a love of rowing, which her dad introduced to her as a teenager.
“I got to row in Nationals as a sophomore and junior (in high school),” she said.
She is also a member of the crew team at MIT, where she was recruited by the coach there. After taking a semester off to concentrate on her studies, she hopes to return to the team next semester.
While moving from the small town of Lake Stevens to the big city of Boston, (the school is actually in Cambridge) was a big change, Dykgraaf loves her life there and the challenges it brings incl uding being away from her longtime boyfriend, family and close friends.
“I love Boston,” she said, “I transitioned fine but was ready to come home for summer break at the end of my freshman year.”
Now, at the end of her sophomore year, Dykgraaf had an even better reason to come home for the summer. She was one of six interns hired by the Boeing Company, out of over 1,200 applicants who applied for these high tech positions.
The chance to get some hands on experience in a field that she is seriously considering as a profession makes this a great opportunity.
“It was the propulsion engineering internship which interested me,” she said.
Along with the internship comes not only a paycheck and great benefits but the option to come back next year and she may even end up with a job offer after her schooling is complete.
“A lot of these internships can transition into a full-time job,” she said.
Dykgraaf continues her love of architecture and enjoys Boston for its many architecturally intriguing buildings.
Her freshman year she was able to live in Simmons Hall, the most expensive dorm ever built, which was designed by New York-based architect Steven Holl.
Dykgraaf continues on a course of reaching her dreams and becoming everything she hopes to become while enjoying life along with her family and friends.
“If you tell her she can’t do something, she’ll do what it takes to prove you wrong,” her mom said.
Dykgraaf will head back to Boston in a couple of months with an irreplaceable Boeing experience under her belt and even more doors opening up to her in the future. All of this because of hard work, dedication and a love of life.