Eli Hanschka is a 2015 graduate of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS). He was born and raised on Martha’s Vineyard, attending the Charter School, Falmouth Academy, and finally, MVRHS. Eli’s love of the outdoors is manifested in the countless ways he engages with it. He is an avid hiker, backcountry skier, and surfer. He taught himself to spearfish last year, and has since gotten his individual commercial fishing permit with which he mainly catches tautaug, and has hand crafted two of his own spearguns. One of the spearguns was made from mahogany and the second was built using teak. Eli mastered slacklining while on a service trip with the AMC Trail Crew in New Hampshire, and has set it up all over the island- both over land and water.
With his Vision Fellowship, Eli will attend Colby College in Waterville, Maine. He is interested in studying environmental science and engineering. He is looking into a five year engineering program that Colby offers with Dartmouth College, where he would graduate with a bachelor of arts from Colby and a bachelor of science from Dartmouth. Eli hopes to ski at the nearby Sugarloaf mountain and join the surfing club during his time at Colby. This summer Eli is interning with South Mountain Company and learning how to install solar panels. This internship fits well with his interest in renewable energy, which he has already been exploring. In his sophomore year, he did a science fair project where he built a buoy that generated electricity from the up and down motion of waves. Eli says, “Hopefully I would be able to give back to the vineyard by bringing the knowledge that I learn in college back to the island and applying it to renewable energy efforts, whether that’s designing wind turbines or working on solar panels at the engineering level.”