As the saying goes, “leave this world a little better than you found
That’s exactly what senior Claire Muscat, who received early acceptance
to Stanford University in December, wants to do.
“All the people who have poured into my life, out of that, I’ve
been able to pour out of myself,” Muscat says. “Mrs. Wild
said the other day in class, you can’t pour from an empty cup. I
feel like my cup has been filled by the people around me so that I can
go out and do the same.”
Muscat, who is active in choir, distance running, service, and her academic
pursuits here at Village Christian, plans to continue her STEM (science,
technology, engineering, and math) studies at Stanford.
Over the summer, the Village lifer worked an internship in the university’s
medical research program and spent time at its biochemistry boot camp.
She left with clarity for the future.
“I really like the aspect of working together with other people who
are passionate about math and science,” she says. “And I really
like the idea of working through a design process, prototyping, and coming
out with a final product that will make a practical difference in people’s
Making a difference – it’s a critical element to what drives Muscat.
It was also a motivator during the cross country season, when the Crusaders
earned the program’s second league title in school history and their
first since 1994.
Bolstered by high-level incoming talent over the last few seasons, Muscat
provided veteran leadership, strategizing and working to keep the team
encouraged, motivated, and consistently working to improve.
Speaking of improvement, the team ended the 2015 season last in league
and second in 2016 before this season’s Olympic League title. The
Crusaders also earned an 11th-place finish at the 2017 CIF-Southern Section Division 5 Championships
“She has a quiet confidence, and she leads by example,” says
Cross Country coach Don Ausherman. “She was never one to rest on
her laurels. She’s a worker.”
Seeds of leadership and stability were planted way back in 2005 –
her first year at VCS – when she gave her heart to the Lord as a
kindergartener in Mrs. Lukesh’s class.
“I feel like God has really blessed me with the people in my life,”
Muscat says. “Village has definitely helped me. I remember praying
the prayer she led us in, desiring to have Jesus be at the head of my
life and to give my life to Him.”
Said Lukesh: “Claire has always had a love for the Lord and a compassion
for others. … Any of Claire’s accomplishments over the years
that I would hear about didn’t surprise me at all. She is very bright
and even in kindergarten, I knew she would be incredibly successful if
she continued to apply her focus, work ethic, and compassion throughout
her school years.”
She’s certainly continued working: running since first grade; choir
since third grade; Team World Vision in High School; Engineering Club
and competitions at Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Servant Leadership; Media
Center Student Advisory Board, where she helped coordinate a book drive
for victims of Hurricane Harvey; National Honor Society, and Engagement
in the STEM Concentration, to name a few.
She’s taken advantage of opportunities and worked closely with teachers
and counselors, who helped prepare her for the moment a little email arrived
“[My family and I] prayed together, opened it, and saw ‘Congratulations,’”
she recalls. “I just started to cry.”
Not a bad way to begin Christmas Break – or to wind down her time at VCS.
“I hope that I left some sort of legacy here,” she says. “I
know Village has blessed me, so I hope I did the same.”