Emily Hammond of Farmington is captain of the Blue Crew Robotics Team at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington. She helped build R2-Blue2, a robot made through 3-D printing and student programming during their computer technology class. Being a member of the robotics team has had a “big impact on my life in general,” she said. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Emily Hammond thought she had her future figured out.

“My entire life I wanted to go somewhere in the medical field,” the Mt. Blue High School senior said.

Then her brother messed it up.

Hammond’s brother, Lucien, was on the school’s robotics team and Hammond decided to follow despite having no interest in robots or engineering.

“I figured I would keep the books or organize the team’s schedule or something like that,” Emily said. “I started and got into it, and I was like, ‘I love engineering.'”

By the time Hammond was a junior, she was the captain of the Blue Crew Robotics Team. “I absolutely fell in love with it,” she said.


She needed to reevaluate. “Do I want to do medical, or do I want to do engineering?” she said.

She’s going to study both.

The Farmington resident is Mt. Blue’s No. 3-ranked student in the Class of 2023 and will study biomedical engineering at the University of Maine in Orono. Hammond would like to take part in building medical devices such as pacemakers, prosthetic limbs and surgical robots.

She said she was very shy as a high school freshman. “I did not get out much and do many things,” she said.

COVID-19 had a part in changing that, she said. The first three years of high school were times of remote learning, social distancing and wearing masks.

“My senior year was my first full regular year of high school,” she said. “This year I decided to try to do as many things as possible. I went to all the football games with friends and attended the homecoming dance in sweatpants.”


Yes, Hammond will go to her senior prom Saturday, but no, she will not be wearing sweatpants, she said.

“I’m all in,” she said. “My senior year is my last year at this high school, so I might as well reach out and do everything it has to offer.”

As far as academics, Hammond is equally all in.

“Some academics come easy to me, but I like challenging myself with (Advanced Placement) and honors classes,” she said. “I could have made it easy on myself, but I chose to push myself a little harder than that. I do the best that I can, work as hard as I can, and No. 3 is where I ended up and I am proud of that.”

She added,” Both my mother and brother were third as well. It’s like a weird family coincidence.”

Hammond played on the school’s field hockey team all four years and plays the violin in the school orchestra.


“I really enjoy it,” Hammond said. “I play it to relax and being in orchestra brightens my day.”

Hammond’s violin is an heirloom she found in the backroom of her grandparents’ house.

“The strings were missing and the neck appeared to have been glued back on,” she said. “We did have to do a lot of repairs on it, but I love that violin.”

Once Hammond committed to the University of Maine, her name joined 4,000 other applicants for the Maine Top Scholars Award.

She hoped that the diversity of her hobbies and high school classes, as well as a well-rounded life, would help set her apart from some applicants.

It did. She was selected. When the letter came in the mail, Hammond thought it was more information for prospective students.


“It was kind of a surreal moment,” she said of reading the letter that said the award would cover full tuition for all four years of college.

The scholar award also puts Hammond into the universities Honors College and gives her priority when choosing research projects.

“This award sets me up for everything that I wanted to do in college,” she said.

“Challenge yourself” is the advice she would give to any student hoping to make the top 10 of their graduating class.

“Don’t just choose a class because it’s easier and you can get an easy 100 on it. Choose difficult classes even if they make you uncomfortable, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to go to your teachers and say I need help with this. I want to understand,” she said.

“All these teachers are absolutely incredible, and they want you to succeed so they are going to work the hardest that they can,” she said.

This is the eighth article in a series featuring high school seniors as graduation season nears. In the series, the Sun Journal will profile a randomly chosen top 10 student or the equivalent from 16 high schools in central and western Maine.

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