BHS’ Hester hopes to attend UAH
Editor’s Note: Franklin’s Future is a regular feature spotlighting a high school senior in Franklin County and what they have planned for life after graduation.
Belgreen High School senior Brock Hester is about as well-rounded as they come.
This 17-year-old has been involved in several school clubs and academic organizations such as Scholar’s Bowl, Jr. and Sr. Beta Club, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Future Business Leaders of America, Beautification, and 4-H – where he won the state competition in the “blocks and rocks” category for his replica of the April 27, 2011 tornado.
While he is focused on his schoolwork and the academic side of his high school experience, Hester is also involved in sports as a member of the school’s basketball and baseball teams.
“Playing sports has probably been one of the biggest influences on me in high school and some of my most memorable moments from high school happened because of sports,” he said.
“The biggest thing that stands out is winning the area basketball tournament last year over Phillips. That was a great feeling and something I won’t forget.”
He also said his time playing sports has taught him valuable lessons he’ll take with him after he graduates.
“Not only does playing sports keep you physically active and healthy but most of my friends play sports, too, so it’s given us a place to bond and become better friends while also teaching us leadership and teamwork skills,” he said.
“You need those kinds of skills once you get in college and out in the real world, so I feel like my time has been spent wisely by participating in sports.”
And if playing sports, keeping up his grades, and being in other clubs isn’t enough, Hester also spent his junior year being involved in the Franklin County Junior Leadership organization where he participated in several community service projects such as volunteering at the Franklin County Watermelon Festival, serving meals for the Bay Tree Council in Red Bay and participating in an Easter egg hunt for children.
“I’m glad I had the opportunity to be part of Junior Leadership because there were students from all the different local schools, so it gave us the chance to learn how to work together with people that we didn’t really know,” he said.
“You’ll have to do that the rest of your life because you won’t know many people in college, and when you start a job somewhere, you probably won’t know many people there either, but you’ll have to know how to work with them and get to know them.”
He said he also enjoyed the program because it gave him the opportunity to learn more about his community and help out in the area.
“The community service was something I enjoyed as well,” he said. “It’s good to know you’re doing something to help people who live close to you.”
It’s safe to say that Hester has had the full experience when it comes to high school, so it’s no surprise he’ll miss his time at BHS once he graduates in May.
“I don’t think there is anything about high school that I won’t miss,” he said. “I’m going to miss the people, the teachers, the sports – I’ll pretty much miss it all.
“I’ve always gone to Belgreen and I like the fact that the school is smaller and everyone knows each other. If you went to a bigger school, you probably wouldn’t have as many friends where as here, pretty much everyone is your friend because everyone is close.
“The smaller school atmosphere also allows you to get to know your teachers better, which gives you a better learning experience when your teacher can help you one-on-one.”
Even though he will miss the school he has grown up in, Hester said he was looking forward to what college life would hold.
“It will be fun to meet new people and just to go through all the new experiences college will bring,” he said.
Hester has plans to attend the University of Alabama in Huntsville – a school he chose for several different reasons.
“Mainly, I needed to find a school that had a good engineering program because that’s what I want to go into, and UAH has the best program in the state,” he said.
“I visited the campus and I also like the fact tat it’s a smaller college, which is good for someone like me who is used to small classroom sizes like we have at Belgreen.
“I’ve been told the class size is small enough so the teachers can really help you and give you the attention you need, so I think that will be better for me.”
Hester said he planned to focus on mechanical engineering while at UAH.
“I originally chose engineering because I’ve been good at math and science ever since elementary school,” he said.
“Once I took the tour of the engineering department at UAH and saw the mechanical engineering shop, I saw that everything there was made from scratch and I was impressed with the program. It looked like something I would enjoy so that’s why I decided to focus on that type of engineering.”
Hester said engineering is also a very versatile degree that would allow him to do many different kinds of jobs.
“I could do all kinds of engineering with my degree and hopefully I could use it at a place like G&G Steel that’s close to home,” he said.
“I might change my mind about it later, but right now, I just don’t see myself living anywhere else. Franklin County has a great atmosphere and friendly people and I’d like to continue living here in the future.”
When he isn’t busy planning for his future, Hester said he enjoyed playing sports for fun, hanging out with his friends, fishing and hunting.
Hester is the son of Jack and Lei-Anne Hester and he has one older brother, Brandon.