CCA graduate credits school's flexibility for allowing her to earn college scholarship

Chloe Ciora earned a full Chancellor’s Scholarship to attend the University of Pittsburgh.

CCA senior Chloe Ciora knows about time management.

A member of CCA's award-winning Real World Design Challenge team, the Butler County resident runs track and cross country for Knoch High School and previously played soccer there. She will have earned 36 college credits before graduation, she crochets, she sews her own clothing creations, and she managed to earn a full scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh.

As a freshman, Chloe joined the Design Challenge team after watching her older brother, Rick, now a Pitt student, participate. He “looked like he was having a lot of fun,” said Chloe, whose other brother, Mark, is a sophomore at CCA.

In the competition, student teams address a challenge confronting industries and use professional engineering software to design their solutions. This year, that meant designing a drone that could be used as a multipurpose tool for a farmer. CCA’s team placed second at nationals for its model designed to help mushroom farmers. In previous years Chloe worked on the design process, but this year she spent more time learning the business side — from cost estimates to the patent process.

“It’s incredibly complicated, and I learned so much,” she said. “I’m really proud of how well we’ve done.”

Chloe, 18, will head into her studies at Pitt on a Chancellor’s Scholarship, a prestigious merit award that covers tuition, fees, and room and board, and carries additional money for study abroad or undergraduate research.

Although Chloe will have those 36 credits under her belt when she starts at Pitt, she won’t use them to shorten her stay. Instead, she plans to add even more classes. Always good at math, Chloe is looking at a full academic plate of majors in math and computer science, with a minor in linguistics.

“This is how a computer interprets human language,” she said of her interest in combining the three disciplines. “Google is a very good example of data science and linguistics.”

Chloe’s ability to interpret and reimagine creative elements shows through not only in her career choices but in her leisure time. If she’s not studying or working out, chances are she’s scouring the local thrift store, looking for clothing she can rip apart and re-create into items she has designed on her own.

“I draft new ideas mostly in my head and draw out new patterns,” the self-taught sewer said. “It’s really cost efficient and really a lot of fun.”

Chloe credits CCA’s flexibility with helping her to reach as far as she has academically. She started at the school in third grade when an auditory processing disorder made it difficult to understand what a teacher was saying on top of all of the noise inside a brick-and-mortar classroom.

“At CCA, I had the support and resources to learn how to be better at writing and interpret language,” she said. “I also wanted more flexibility in taking advanced courses in some areas, like math. It’s been great for me.”