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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Lake City High’s Josh Weadick taking a giant step for his future

Lake City High School senior Josh Weadick talks about his future plans at the school in Coeur d'Alene on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. (Headed to USC for engineering Kathy Plonka / SR)
By Greg Lee For The Spokesman-Review

When Josh Weadick heads off to college this fall, he’ll step onto a campus with an enrollment that at one time was larger than where he lives.

And the Lake City High School senior is headed to the second-largest city in the U.S., with a population just shy of 4 million, according to 2010 census figures.

The size of the school and where it is located might paralyze some young adults. But Weadick isn’t just any young man.

During spring break, Weadick received news he had been hoping for: admission to the University of Southern California.

“I wanted to go to a school on the West Coast with engineering,” Weadick said. “USC is ranked in the top 10 in the country as an engineering school.”

A friend enrolled this year in USC’s engineering program. After conversations, Weadick was convinced the Los Angeles school was perfect for him.

Lake City, which opened in 1994, has co-valedictorians and co-salutatorians for the first time. Weadick is a co-salutatorian with a 4.389 GPA, weighted with several honors classes.

In other words, he’s never had anything less than an A. And by taking as many advanced placement classes as he has, he’ll take 16 credits to USC.

He scored 1,460 out of 1,600 and 32 out of 36 on college-entrance tests.

Weadick was involved in a couple of humanitarian issues at LC. Most recently he and members of the school’s Environmental Club submitted a proposal to the school district to replace paper towel dispensers with eco-friendly hand dryers in all the schools.

Weadick spent three years in theater and playing tennis.

Take a peek at his bedroom at home and it’s obvious he had other priorities.

“Every other aspect of my life is orderly, but not my bedroom,” he said, smiling.

He attributes his diligence and motivation to his faith. And he’s thankful for his parents’ involvement in his life.

“They’ve showed me how to weather difficult times,” Weadick said. “They’re both compassionate people.”

The annual cost to attend USC is $75,000. Through scholarships, merit and grants, Weadick has all but about $7,000 per year covered.

Through small loans and money earned this summer as a server at a restaurant, he’ll cover the rest.

“(USC’s) mission is to have its students take out the least amount of loans possible,” Weadick said.

Weadick targeted USC because he wanted to land in a region where he could launch his post-college career.

He did his senior project about alternative energy and sustainability in urban areas. He sees engineering as the vehicle to explore ways to live greener.

“My long-term goal is I’d love to work with governments in Third World countries and help them to industrialize their energy systems so they’re not reliant on fossil fuels,” Weadick said.

So what about moving to such a large city?

“I’m adventurous enough to say it’s nerve-wracking but not terrifying,” he said. “It’s the next step in the adventure. You have to discover who you are outside of high school and your hometown.”