Craig Kristin Brown, Moffat County High School senior, is stepping out.
After she graduates in May, she plans to attend Colorado State University to study painting and, eventually, earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.
After that, Brown says her future is wide open.
"I don't really know what options there are" for visual arts careers, she said. "I don't really know enough to decide right now.
"I was thinking I would figure it out while I was" at college.
Brown is certain about one thing: Her interest in art, specifically painting.
"I guess it is what I'm best at," she said. "It's what I enjoy the most."
Her interest in visual arts began during an art class her sophomore year.
One piece from that class stands out in Brown's mind: A still life painting with fruit.
At first, the painting didn't seem like a breakthrough.
"It wasn't my favorite," Brown said, "but it wasn't bad."
Still, the project was enough to begin feeding her interest in visual arts.
"It was the first step," she said.
Since then, Brown has completed several paintings, including one requested from a friend.
That painting, too, was a step in her current direction.
"It was my first really good painting," she said.
In January, an acceptance letter from CSU is another step in Brown's art career.
But, Brown cannot say for certain whether she'll follow that path to the end.
Brown still plans on pursuing painting throughout her college career, but she's also willing to change her major if she finds another field that interests her more, she said.
Should Brown decide to finish out her art degree, a number of careers could become available to her, said Tom Duncan, Brown's art teacher at the high school.
Brown could study graphic arts and design advertisements, Duncan said, or she could teach art at high school or college levels.
Which path is best suited for Brown?
"It's too early to say," Duncan said. "Art is just one thing she seems to be most interested in."
If Brown changes her direction during college, she won't be the first student to do so, Duncan said.
"Let (students) go off to school and explore some things on their own," he said, and their plans could - and often do - change.
Duncan is OK with that.
"Keep your doors open," he said.
Regardless if her degree changes or not, Duncan believes Brown will find the path that fits.
"She has some talent," he said. "She's a pretty smart kid.
"What challenges (college) throws at her, she'll solve."
Bridget Manley can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org