By Cady Kuzmich
CLIFTON PARK — Shenendehowa senior Max Morand has always called Clifton Park home, though he hopes to relocate to the South after college and pursue a career in forensic accounting.
Morand’s father is a photographer and his mother is a high school math teacher at South Colonie, which leaves us with this question: How did the 17-year-old become so fascinated with forensic accounting?
Morand said he has always enjoyed crime shows and mystery games. These interests pushed him to look into the criminal justice field “and look at the many subsets in the general study,” he said. “My love for numbers and math directed me into the career of forensic accounting, which is a more interesting form of accounting,” he added.
After graduating from Shenendehowa, Morand plans to live at home and attend Hudson Valley Community College in the fall. Eventually, he plans to transfer to John Jay College of Criminal Justice and pursue a degree in forensic accounting.
Morand has been involved with Clifton Park’s Youth Court since last year. In just one year, Morand has participated in seven cases, playing the part of prosecutor, defender, judge and jury member.
Morand explained the court’s role in the community: “We conduct court hearings for students in the area who commit minor offenses. Offenders participate in this system to have a lighter sentence and to get their offense permanently erased from their records.” He added, “This helps students who want to pursue a degree in this field or just interested students in a serious club that benefits the community.”
Morand is also a sales associate and cashier at Marshalls and HomeGoods in Clifton Park, where he started working last July. Despite a busy academic schedule, Morand finds the time to work on the weekends and one day during the school week.
Morand said he’s most passionate about his work. “I think work should be taken seriously,” he said. “My work consists of interact[ing] with people, which means even when [I’m] not having a good day I have to put on a smile. I take a great pride in trying to make people laugh and make them happier,” he said.
A question-and-answer session with the aspiring accountant:
Q: What’s your favorite band or musician?
A: I mostly listen to pop or hip-hop.
Q: What are you most proud of?
A: Holding high honors roll throughout high school has been one of my biggest accomplishments.
Q: What’s your biggest challenge?
A: Balancing school, work and friends is my biggest challenge. It is often hard to find a balance that fits everything into my schedule.
Q: We all feel the crunch of time. I imagine you’ve experienced that, too. What would you do if you had an extra hour in the day?
A: I would use that time to either work more or study and catch up on homework.
Q: Who or what has had the greatest influence on who you are today?
A: Traveling the world with my family has been one of the biggest influences on my life because I have experienced so much. I am very fortunate to be able to travel the world and experience different cultures. I have traveled throughout the country, mostly to places where I have family. I have been out of the country to Mexico multiple times, Italy, France, and the Bahamas.
Q: Who’s your favorite teacher?
A: Mrs. [Wendy] Fitzgerald, my physics teacher. She always made time to help if anyone had questions. She also let us work in groups for much of the course which I benefited from.
Q: What do you think of the presidential candidates this election year?
A: I think there are no good candidates this year and new ones should be brought in. Although it is too late to bring in all new candidates I will still vote for the better of two evils.
Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
A: Bora Bora, it is my dream to live there someday in a bungalow over the water.
Q: If you could meet anyone who would it be?
A: Melissa McCarthy. One of my favorite comedian actors is Melissa McCarthy and I think it would be really fun to meet her.