LIMA — Caden Burklund is No. 2 in his senior class at Lima Senior High School. He’s a varsity lacrosse and soccer player, member of the school’s DECA club and a mentor through Lima Senior’s Big Spartans Little Spartans program.
And soon, Burklund can add the U.S. Army Reserve to his resume.
Burklund will defer his college education for a semester as he heads to boot camp in South Carolina, after which he plans to study computer science at The Ohio State University or Penn State, where he hopes to continue playing lacrosse without having to worry about how his education will be paid for.
It was Burklund’s love of math that inspired him to pursue a career in computer programming or software development for the U.S. Army.
“I like the exact answers,” Burklund said.
Burklund was shy when he started high school, so he decided to join Lima Senior’s chapter of the Distributive Education Clubs of America, which ultimately introduced Burklund to the world of marketing, finance and entrepreneurship and made him feel more comfortable in social settings and job interviews.
The DECA club supplied Burklund with some of his favorite high school memories, even though he and classmates couldn’t travel to New York City or to state competitions during the pandemic.
But Burklund looks forward to traveling with the U.S. Army, first to South Carolina’s Fort Jackson and Georgia for training and then wherever the service takes him for his career.
His advice to incoming freshmen: Be open to trying as many different classes as possible.
“I think the best thing you can do in high school is diversify your knowledge and figure out what you like,” Burklund said. “That’ll help you figure out what you want to do in the future.”