Building the Future

Senior looks into bettering the future through studying engineering


Aidin Manning

Designing — Senior Mia Waters works on designs during her engineering class with Charlie Lauts.

By Nikki Aqui, Staff Writer

As the school year draws to a close, Lawrence High loses a class of students who are literally building a better future.

One of those students is senior Mia Waters. Mia was adopted when she was only 1 year old from China by Julie Waters and Mark Lumpee. Waters was found at a bus station as an infant and taken to a orphanage where she, and every other child, were named “Gong.” It was not until adoption that Mia was given her new name.

This year, Waters gave back to the youth in the community when she and students from Free State designed and built an “educational playhouse” for Googols of Learning, located in downtown Lawrence.

Charlie Lauts, Waters’ engineering teacher, describes Mia as “driven,” later adding that when Waters’ drawing was chosen to be built by Googols of Learning, “Mia had immediately stepped up to be the leader of the team and just led the rest of her crew for the rest of the project. That’s the best way I can describe her.”

In her four years at Lawrence High, Waters has stayed busy. She runs her family’s farmer’s market booth, works a second job, plays sports and is involved in school activities, including a having leadership role with the Environmental Club for her entire Chesty Lion career.

“I am so impressed that she has been able to juggle all of these things and has still been so successful academically,” science teacher Lisa Ball said. “She’s pretty much a rock star.”

As Waters leaves Lawrence High, her teachers are sure she will only continue her success.

“I know she is going to be successful no matter where she ends up, even after college,” Lauts said.

Waters will be attending Lehigh University this fall to continue to pursue engineering.