If Marisa Heisey ends up at a college in western Pennsylvania, the Conestoga Valley High School junior will follow in the footsteps of her older brother, Alex. He is a sophomore at Grove City College, an hour north of Pittsburgh.
It wouldn’t be the first time the close siblings have walked similar paths. A decade ago, they won Royer’s Kids Club contests in back-to-back years.
In 2010, Alex, then in third grade, won the kids club’s birthday card design contest. In 2011, Marisa, then in first grade, won a back-to-school coloring contest. (In 2017, while in seventh grade, Marisa also won the birthday card design contest.)
Alex and Marisa are the children of Nevin and Joy Heisey of East Lampeter Township, Lancaster County. At the time of Alex’s win, his mother said, “Both of my kids love flowers.”
We caught up with Joy recently for an update on what her children, long since having graduated from the kids club, are up to now.
Majoring in business management
At Grove City College, Alex is majoring in business management with a focus on supply chain.
“He loves Grove City,” Joy said. “He really is enjoying his experience there.”
While some colleges resorted to online studies-only during the pandemic, Grove City stuck with in-person classes, albeit at times with mask requirements.
“He’s very thankful to be in-person on campus this whole time,” Joy said.
His varied interests and busy schedule have taken Alex beyond his school’s campus, too.
Through his involvement with Impact, Grove City’s outdoor adventure leadership program, Alex has backpacked in southern Virginia, ice climbed in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and skied in New York.
He is a library aide, training to become a tour guide, and a member of the school’s human-powered vehicle club. The latter involved designing and building something that resembled a recumbent bicycle and racing it in Michigan.
Leaning toward nursing school
When we spoke with Joy, she had just come back from one of five planned college visits with Marisa, who is leaning toward nursing school, either in Pennsylvania or Ohio. She was preparing to take the SATs in May and again in June.
Marisa is active in student council, music and science honor societies, school bible study and her church’s youth group. She is one of eight Conestoga Valley girls participating in a mentorship program through the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce. She works in the bake shop at Kitchen Kettle Village.
“She still loves drawing,” Joy said. “She’s very much (into) water colors, she likes to paint ceramics.”
Joy fondly recalled her children’s involvement with the Royer’s Kids Club. They were such regulars at kids club events that store employees knew the family members by name, Joy said. Marisa was officially too young for the club when Alex started going, but the staff would let her participate anyway.
The Heiseys still have mugs, vases and baskets from the various kids club event projects.
“That’s a good memory,” Joy said of attending events.
Better still, the kids club events seem to have inspired a lasting love for flowers in Joy’s children.
Last fall, Marisa won a flower-arranging contest at the West Lampeter Fair, just as she – and Alex – had done in years past.