James Monroe Grad Wants to Travel World as Engineer
Following in his father's footsteps, Michael Denham says he's going to Virginia Tech for its top-notch engineering and physics program.
James Monroe High School graduate Michael Denham wants to follow in his father's footsteps and be an engineer and he'll probably be toting a camera wherever he goes.
The four-time scholar graduates Friday and the school system recommended him as a high-achieving graduate to feature on Fredericksburg Patch.
"Michael is also a very well-rounded individual who has done very well academically. He has participated in sports, photography and community-based projects and events," the school system said.
Denham, the son of Charles and Christy Denham in the Idlewild subdivision, just turned 18 on Thursday. He loves photography and picked up the hobby after a trip to Europe with his parents one summer. He enjoyed taking photographs so much that his parents got him a camera for Christmas.
"As soon as I got that, I started taking tons of pictures," he said. After more than 10,000 photos, his shutter stopped working and now he is trying to get an SLR camera. Denham has a website for his photography and a Facebook site where he posts more pictures. He won the Outstanding Creativity Award, as well as his fourth James Monroe Scholar award.
Denham has also taken at least five AP courses and dual-enrolledment courses at Germanna Community College. He also already took Calculus 1 and Calculus 2 at the University of Mary Washington, going to the classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He got a 3.7 GPA. He credited James Monroe teacher Ms. Witter for challenging him to do his best at the coursework and it paid off.
"She was a really hard teacher, which is why I loved her," he said.
Denham said taking high-level math courses sparked his interest in engineering. He said his father was sent all over the world as an engineer for Dahlgren.
"After taking all of the math classes, I realized I was good at it," he said. "Then I took Physics and I liked a lot of the concepts. It's a good job for traveling. I think that would be pretty enjoyable."
Denham is a member of the National Honor Society and did some community service through that group. He's volunteered for community dinners at Fredericksburg United Methodist Church and he helped rebuild a home this past March in Mayfield with the Rebuilding Together organization.
He also played soccer and he is considering playing the sport at a club level at Virginia Tech.
"I loved the soccer practices," he said. "Those were really fun."