GREENVILLE – As most of her classmates get ready to start lives after high school a little closer to home, Victoria Lucy will be heading to Berlin, Germany on Aug. 3.
“Both the things I want are there,” Lucy, 18, said Tuesday – on her last day as a student at Greenville High School.
Those two things are boyfriend Fabian Bucher and the opportunity to further her education while attending an American-based university at European-based prices.
Lucy, also a budding artist, plans to begin her post-secondary education by obtaining an undergraduate degree in psychology at Touro College in Berlin.
She first met Fabian Bucher when he came to GHS as an exchange student. He was a senior and she was a sophomore. The two got acquainted when some of Lucy’s friends invited Bucher to join the high school theater group.
“We did the The Three Musketeers that year,” Lucy said. “The theater group was our bubble. We became friends and started dating around prom time.”
During the past couple years, their friendship has grown, with Bucher returning twice to visit Lucy and her family. Last summer, Lucy and her uncle, Chad Suitts, traveled to Berlin for a visit with Bucher’s family and to check out Touro College.
“I’m not sure where a degree in psychology will send me as far as a career,” Lucy said. “But I just want to help people.”
Lucy said her interest in studying psychology grew when she took a class at Edison Community College.
“It was really interesting, reading about all the things that go on in the mind. I’ve just realized a lot of people come from rough backgrounds. Some turn out OK. But some get stuck. I want to find out why.”
The opportunity to live and study in Europe also will give Lucy a chance to study and grow her love for art, which was nurtured as a Greenville school student.
“I took the normal art classes all the way through school. But when I got to high school, I started applying myself.”
Lucy’s talent for creating art recently paid off when she became the recipient of the Greenville Board of Education Art Award.
A self-portrait in charcoal earned her a first place in the school’s recent art show. The board of education purchased the piece to hang with other GHS art award winners in the Anna Bier Civic Room at Memorial Hall.
“I really wasn’t expecting my art to be purchased,” she said. “I was really surprised and excited.”
Through high school, Lucy has been active with SADD, the Art Club, choir, theater – serving as president of the high school’s theater group this past year – the National Honor Society and We Are the Majority – a student-led group against drugs and destructive choices.
She also was named a Student of the Month by the Greenville Kiwanis Club this past spring.
Still undecided if she’s going to pursue a master’s or doctorate in psychology, Lucy says she’s excited about her upcoming plans.
Her only anxiety is taking the 14-hour plane trip with her cat Arya.
“We got her as a stray last year. My uncle told me if ‘you’re going to take that cat (as a pet), you’re going to take it to Germany with you.’”
Lucy said she knew by the end of her junior year she wanted to pursue her education in Germany. She spent time researching how to apply to the school all on her own, even after being told by some that it wouldn’t be possible. By March of this year she received her acceptance letter.
“It’s really a small school – 200 students. There’s no dorm, so I’ll have to get an apartment,” she explained. The school is based in New York City, but tuition is much lower than those attending college in the states, Lucy said.
“My grandma Patricia Suitts has been very helpful and supportive,” she said. “Even though they (family) will miss me and are sad I’m leaving, they’re very supportive and want me to go out and experience the world.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Victoria Lucy poses with her self-portrait in charcoal. The drawing has been chosen to hang in the Anna Bier Civic Room at Memorial Hall. Lucy will begin her college career this fall, studying psychology in Berlin, Germany.