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NORTH BEND — From North Bend to Providence, Rhode Island, one recent North Bend High School graduate is going on to pursue her education at Brown University.

Reagan Hunt, salutatorian for the 2019 class, plans on becoming a software engineer at a major tech company like Google before establishing her own business later in life and sees Brown University as the perfect next step to make it happen.

“They have an open curriculum policy, so no required classes and you also get to choose whatever class you take, whether it is a grade or pass/fail,” Hunt said. “It is structured around how you learn best.”

Not only that, but she explained how Brown University doesn’t have majors but rather concentrations of study. For her, she plans on concentrating on computer science.

“Because of the open curriculum policy, I have a lot of freedom to study lots of things I’m interested in like math, physics and music. I plan to diversify my study at Brown.”

Helping her pay for the Ivy League education, Hunt has received almost $237,000 in scholarships. She received $76,786 from Brown University to cover not only her first year there, but the following three years. She also earned $6,000 from the Al and Hilda Pierce Scholarship and $3,000 from the North Bend Community Scholarship.

For Hunt, attending an Ivy League university wasn’t a lifetime plan but when she researched where she wanted to go after high school she discovered that Brown embodied the values she sought in both her life and education.

When she arrives in August, she plans on combining her studies. For example, she said she hopes to include her studies into technology to have a practical application.

“I know my mom will miss me, but she’s excited for me too,” Hunt said of her family’s reaction to moving across the country. “I visited a month ago and toured the campus. I love it, from the people to the setting. It’s perfect.”

In her speech to the graduating class of North Bend High School, she pointed out the difference between a salutatorian and a valedictorian is one B. For her, when she was given a B in one of her classes, she was upset.

“But in your life you see these failures as being bigger than they are and you keep going and know success will come,” she said. “If you’re going to be successful, you can do it no matter what stands in your way. One of my favorite things to say now is ‘B is for Brown.’ That letter grade messed up my 4.0 but it didn’t stop me from getting into Brown.”

Hunt overcame other hardships throughout her high school career, having started at NBHS two-thirds into her freshmen year in the midst of family changes. But she said the biggest change she has seen was in herself.

“I realized that everybody has a story,” she said. “In choir this week, everyone had a story that was difficult and how choir helped get them through it. The stuff I went through early in my high school career … everyone has a story like that.”

As she gets ready to move from to the east coast, she credits NBHS for playing a “huge part” in her success.

“My sense of community here has helped me be successful,” she said. “I have so much support from not just the administration, but my peers. I feel like people are always trying to lift me up and help me be the best version of myself, which is unique in a high school I think.”

Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.

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