Claire Dragoo (’23)

When Claire Dragoo walked away from the 2018 High School Summer Program, it was with a newfound sense of clarity. “I knew that Thomas Aquinas College would form my mind in a good way,” she says, “but the Summer Program showed me that it would also form my soul.”

Now approaching the summer of 2022, Claire will be working for the third time as one of the prefects on the California campus, still forming her own and others’ minds and souls.

“I want to be a physical or occupational therapist, and I didn’t see TAC as a direct route there,” says Claire, explaining her initial reluctance to come to the College. During high school she had intended to study biology at Baylor University in distant Texas. “I thought I would go far away, but the Summer Program changed my mind!”

The discussions and the camaraderie they engendered among her fellow attendees were particularly attractive. When she visited the California campus again during her senior year of high school, she saw the discussions and camaraderie she had loved at a new pitch of precision. “I remember visiting a seminar, and I saw how the upperclassmen conversed with each other. They had such a perfect mix between formality and familiarity, and talked about all these amazing things in such a comfortable way,” she recalls. “I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do, too!’”

Claire has been doing just that for the past three years as a student, as well as inviting others into that intellectual and spiritual lifestyle as a Summer Program prefect. She has been blessed to live that life beside her twin sister, Jo, who will also be joining her as a prefect this summer.

A devoted swimmer in high school, Claire is especially looking forward to introducing the attendees to the pool in the newly completed Pope St. John Paul II Athletic Center. “I challenge someone to beat me in a race!” she laughs.

Any takers?