CACIA KAUPP signed her National Letter of Intent on Tuesday, Feb. 11 to attend the University of Illinois in the fall, where she will be a member of the school’s swimming and diving team. In addition to her diving talents, the Durand Area Schools senior has a 4.03 GPA and will head to Illinois with both athletic and academic scholarships.
Kaupp, shown with her mother Jeri and family friend Joe Johnson, was joined during the signing by her church family, from the Riverdale Baptist Church in Flint, along with her grandmother, aunt and a number of Durand students, administrators and coaches.
The Durand Area Schools does not have swimming or diving programs, so Kaupp has honed her diving skills at Oakland University, where she practices every day after school. Kaupp commutes to Oakland every day after school to train for four hours, and despite her workload as a high school senior and her dedicated training regimen, she still finds time to have a job.
Kaupp will study interdisciplinary sciences at Illinois, with plans to go to medical school after completing her undergraduate degree. She dreams of one day becoming an oncologist, which she is preparing for by working with oncologist Sukamal Saha, MD, who treated Cacia’s mother and father during their battles with cancer.
Cacia’s father, Keith, lost his fight with cancer on Feb. 11, 2014, and Cacia honored her father – her biggest supporter – by holding her signing ceremony on the six-year anniversary of his passing. Keith inspired Cacia to begin diving, which she did in February of 2013, and Keith was diagnosed with cancer shortly thereafter, in September of 2013.
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)