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Biochemical engineering: just Dew’ it

Klahowya Secondary School senior Oliver Dewey isn’t exactly sure where he’s headed for college yet, but one thing’s for sure: When he gets wherever he’s going, he’ll have his hands full.

“I really enjoy biology and chemistry and it seems fun to mix them together,” Dewey said.

He plans to do that with one of the more complicated majors and fields available in existence: biochemical engineering.

“I like to see how things work,” he said. “It’s all based at the chemical level.”

Well, to each his own.

Actually, it’s almost a natural progression for Dewey. His grandfather was an electrical engineer and his father was a mechanical engineer, so it makes sense that he’d choose to engineer something.

He’s still got a few weeks of high school left, though, and it’s been a good run for a kid who came to Kitsap after spending his first 13 years growing up in Houston.

“It’s really an awesome school to me; I love this school,” Dewey said of Klahowya.

Particularly, he’s been fond of the close relationships he developed with his teachers, which no doubt helped him in becoming so science savvy.

“I don’t know what it’s gonna be like in college, but I’m really close with all the teachers and staff,” he said.

He is ready to finish high school, though. Like many students in Central Kitsap, senior year has been an endurance trial for Dewey and while his numerous extracurricular activities were commendable, they may not have done much for his sanity.

“I’d have to say it has been the best and the worst year of high school,” he said of the plusses and minuses of extracurricular work.

Dewey is the current ASB president of Klahowya and secretary of the school’s national honor society. He also volunteers at Green Mountain Elementary School twice a week as a teen mentor to a sixth-grader.

“I did fall asleep in class a lot of times,” Dewey said, tongue-in-cheek.

He found time last year to try out for the wrestling team on a whim, though the experience wasn’t enough to bring him back for another run.

“It was really fun,” he said. “I definitely don’t regret it, but if I would have done it this year, I would have died.”

So much for the world’s first biochemical engineer-slash-wrestler.

As for the future, Dewey is still mulling his options as far as college is concerned.

“At the moment, it’s looking like I’m going to the Colorado School of Mines,” he said.

But that could change. He’s currently wait-listed at Rice University, the school where his grandfather earned a Ph.D. and where both used to visit during Dewey’s time in Texas.

“It was always on the radar,” Dewey said.

Even more uncertain is the idea of what he’ll do once he’s graduated from wherever. He’s gung-ho about biochemistry, but that could mean just about anything.

“I know I like the idea of working in the field,” he said.

So for the time being, he’ll just bask in the satisfaction of being done with high school and on his way to semi-adulthood.

“I kind of take care of myself as it is,” Dewey said. “(But) I’m kind of excited to get fully independent.”

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