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Pallotti graduate will combine her love of music and science at University of Maryland

ChidChidum Obiadi of the class of 2024 at St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel will attend the University of Maryland this fall and plans to major in chemistry and minor in musical theater. (Photo courtesy of St. Vincent Pallotti High School)um Obiadi

At first blush, it may seem a rather odd combination of classroom subjects that intrigued Chidum Obiadi, who graduates this year from St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel, Maryland.

“When it comes to musical theater, I loved it from the time I was a kid. My grandmother is a singer and my mother and my sister sing. I’ve loved it since first grade and I can’t stop,” she said. “And I love science because I love learning about the world and how it works.”

Obiadi will combine her love of performing and her interest in science – both of which were encouraged at Pallotti – when she attends the University of Maryland at College Park this fall. She plans to major in chemistry and minor in musical theater. That rather unusual pairing of courses of study, Obiadi said, is what she thinks will prepare her for her future career

“I want to be a psychiatrist after I go on to medical school. I want to work in hospital because I want to be a clinical in-patient kind of psychiatrist,” she explained. “Another thing I want to do is research in psychology. I want to find a cure for depression – the chemical imbalance kind of depression. I want to find a way to help those people who are suffering and cure that suffering. I just want to do what will help everyone.”

Graduating the Pallottine-sponsored coed school with a 4.67 grade point average, Obiadi said that participating in the school’s arts academy and her advanced placement calculus AB and chemistry courses were among her highlights of her tenure at the school.

“I loved those classes,” she said of calculus and chemistry. “They are the classes that everyone hates, but I found calculus amusing and the chemistry class challenged me the most.”

As a participant in Pallotti’s arts academy, Obiadi has starred in a wide variety of productions, including the musicals “Godspell” and “Six,” which based on the many wives of Henry VIII, and dramas such as “Mutually Assured Destruction” and “12 Angry Jurors.”

Off the stage and outside of the classroom, Obiadi was president of her school’s chapter of the National Honor Society, a member of the French Honor Society and codirector of the school’s house band, which plays contemporary Christian music. She was captain of the varsity volleyball team – winning to all-conference awards in that sport – and a member of the varsity softball team.

Her participation in varsity cheer led her to being honored with an MVP award and a Shining Star award.

Obiadi was also part of the school’s Union Leaders, a campus ministry group that helps prepare and organize class retreats, and she has volunteered at the food pantry run by the Laurel Advocacy and Referral Service (LARS)

“She an exemplary student,” Ian L. Springer, Pallotti’s director of visual communications and marketing, wrote in an e-mail to the Catholic Standard. “We feel that she is a great example of the values our school holds and a fantastic role model for her fellow classmates.”

The daughter of Jennifer and Gabriel Obiadi and a resident of south Laurel, Obiadi is the youngest of five children, having two older brothers and two older sisters. Her family attends St. Mary of the Mills Parish, which sits across the street from the high school and where Obiadi is a member of the parish youth group.

“I love our youth group, and we do a little Bible study every Sunday,” she said. “I love that group because it is a very safe space to talk about my religion because you can’t do that very much anymore.”

Obiadi said her Catholic faith is very important to her, and she was happy that it was nurtured and developed during her years at Pallotti.

“I really liked our religion classes because our teachers let us explore what it means to be Catholic and what our faith means to me,” she said. “My teachers let me debate them and ask them questions – and they gave me straight out answers. That really helped me come to terms with what it means to be Catholic and what God wants me to do with my life.”

She also said the small community feel of the school helped her in her education.

“I really benefited from being in a small school and getting to know my teacher and them getting to know me,” she said. “This is a really nice community here, and the small school vibe works for me and let me thrive.”