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At age 17, Collin Solorzano, of Rock Island and a senior at Alleman High School, already knows which way his career is going to take him.

The son of an Army first sergeant who spent 21 years in the military, Collin is going to be following in his dad’s footsteps. Except, Collin will be going through ROTC at Western Illinois University in Macomb, where he will major in business supply chain management and spend his Army career in logistics.

Collin was one of more than 300 students honored Tuesday at the Quad-City Times Salute to Academics & Achievements held at North High School, Davenport.

Collin was honored for his vocational education work in auto mechanics and physics. “We learned the physics behind the vehicle, the movement and how to fix them as well the physics that goes hand-in-hand with them,” he said.

In his job at Hy-Vee Foods, Collin sees supply logistics at work as he sees product moving from its starting point to its end point.

“I’m already in the Army National Guard as a mechanic with 92 Bravo and I plan to do logistics with the Army,” he said. His tour of duty could put him right back at the Rock Island Arsenal.

“He wanted to go into the Army and I wanted him to go to college first, and this is a good mix,” said his mother, Candy Wilcox. “The Guard pays for college and he gets a Montgomery GI grant which pays something every month. He loves this Army stuff.”

The interests and ambitions of Tuesday's honorees was wide and varied.

Keshav Wagle, 17, of Bettendorf, who attends Pleasant Valley High School, is heading to Rice University in Houston where he will study cognitive science and music, and it will be heavy on music.

Keshav got his certificate for The Arts, as he does a lot of performing arts, a lot of band, a lot of orchestra and drama.

“I play the oboe, cello and piano,” Keshav said.

While he will major in cognitive science, which is social side of neuroscience, psychology and in correlation with the anatomy of the brain, he explained, “I’m going to do a lot of music there.”

“Music is going to be the biggest thing I want to do,” he said. He will be playing in one of the orchestras the university has as well as taking music lessons.

Rice University is home to the Shepherd School of Music and “they have a lot of opportunities for access of good students and professors that are there,” said Keshav’s father, Dr. Nikhil Wagle. Rice, he said, is known as the Harvard of the Southwest.

“That’s what we liked about it,” Dr. Wagle said. “The location but also there seemed to be a lot of camaraderie, as well.

“I’m mainly a classical musician,” Keshav said. “If I had to pick between ensemble, repertoire and solo, I’d chose ensemble even if it’s a quartet or quintet. I love mixing my sound with others.”

Keshav’s mother, Dr. Archana Wagle, plays both violin and piano, so his love of music comes almost naturally.

Delaney Brown, 18, of Davenport, and a student at Assumption High School, said she is heading to the University of Iowa to study biology.

Brown received her certificate for Math/The Sciences.

“I just always had an interest in science and I wanted to pursue it or medicine in the future,” she said. Biology is the area that piqued her interest, she said, so while she’s good at math, engineering didn’t have the appeal that biology has.

“My favorite class was chemistry,” she said. She’ll also be minoring in Spanish. “I feel I need multiple languages,” Brown said.

But Delaney Brown is one of three girls, triplets. Delaney is heading to Iowa while Carlye and Bailey will be going Wartburg College, in Waverly, Iowa, to play basketball. Carlye will study education and Bailey will study business.

“We’re excited for her,” Delaney’s father, Jamie Brown said. “She’s always had an interest in that and she scored very well in math and science and she’s heading in the right direction.”

David Mathews and his mother, Cecile, walked along the reception speaking French and Spanish. While David’s father, Benjamin is an American, his mother is from western France, near Normandy.

“I was born in Costa Rica,” said David, 17, of Bettendorf and who attends Pleasant Valley High School, as he explained the Spanish language.

David is headed to the University of Iowa to study economics and finance.

“I took economics in high school and it really struck me as something I wanted to go into,” David said. “I find it really interesting how it all works together.”

Quad-City Times Publisher Deb Anselm called the student essays that are part of the Salute to Academics & Achievements special section, which was part of Sunday's editions, “one of my favorite collections of stories each year.”

“They are snippets of what I’m sure are just a few of the accomplishments, which range from National Merit scholars to all-state choir, from title teams to yearbook editors, to Eagle Scouts and Junior Rotarians,” she said.

“Wherever your journey takes you, know that your community and your hometown paper is proud of you and we’re here cheering you on,” Anselm said.

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