Terrific Teens … Spotlight on Eilish Flaherty

Eilish Flaherty is a 2015 graduate of Conard High School and one of 2015 'Terrific Teens.' Photo by Todd Fairchild

As seen in the annual ‘Terrific Teens’ issue of West Hartford Magazine, 2015. Eilish Flaherty is a 2015 graduate of Conard High School.

By Katie Cavanaugh. Photos by Todd Fairchild/ShutterbugCT.com

Eilish Flaherty is a 2015 graduate of Conard High School and one of 2015 'Terrific Teens.'

Eilish Flaherty is a 2015 graduate of Conard High School and one of 2015’s ‘Terrific Teens.’ Photo by Todd Fairchild

For our fifth annual spotlight on recent West Hartford high school graduates, we were once again challenged because the pool of “Terrific Teen” candidates is virtually never-ending. We discovered teens with talents, tastes for travel, and thirsts for new challenges – both big and small. Every young person has an interesting story, and what resulted are eight stories about eight great role models whose aspirations will inspire anyone of any age.

For Eilish Flaherty, our female Terrific Teen from Conard High School, life has taken some significant turns. Eilish’s mom, Le-An, died in 2012, leaving behind Eilish, her father, and her three younger siblings.

Eilish was only a freshman in high school at the time, and she easily could have lost herself in grief. However, Eilish knew that wasn’t really an option so she stepped up to act like a mother to her siblings.

“My dad works a lot and gives us as much time as he can, but he’s busy,” she said. “I needed to help my siblings a lot. I did everything I had to do to be more responsible and be their role model.”

Despite taking on that extra responsibility, Eilish continued to flourish during her time at Conard. She was a member of both the Conard girls lacrosse and soccer teams.

“Lacrosse was definitely my passion, but I love soccer too,” she said. Even after tearing her ACL during her junior year, Eilish remained positive and returned to playing the sports she loved. She was also involved in Unified Theater and Unified Sports, and she noted that these organizations had some of the biggest impacts on her high school career.

Eilish is currently a freshman at the University of Alabama. “I knew I wanted a big school, football, and a lot of school spirit,” she said. “It had all the programs I wanted, a beautiful campus, and I fell in love with the southern schools.”

Eilish plans on playing on the club lacrosse team and already is a member of Phi Mu Sorority.

Before going through sorority recruitment, Eilish was worried she would not get into the organization that was a good fit for her. Thankfully, that was not the case. “Everyone told me it all works out in the end. At first I didn’t believe it, but it totally did,” she said. “I’m definitely where I’m supposed to be.”

When she’s in Connecticut, Eilish enjoys going to Bricco in West Hartford Center and watching Grey’s Anatomy. One of her biggest dreams is to travel to Ireland, where she has dual-citizenship.

Eilish has certainly overcome many obstacles to get where she is today. She gives credit to her dad for helping through the tough times and being there to celebrate the good. “I talk to my dad about everything. I have to contribute most of these things to my dad,” said Eilish. “He is a huge influence on everything that I do.”

Eilish is not exactly sure what she wants to do for a career. However, she does have a goal that she is always striving towards. “What I do know is that I want to impress myself and make myself successful in things that I love,” said Eilish. “Successful in terms of my own goals and not anyone else’s.”

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Joy Taylor

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