Madison West High School Graduate Laila 
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

Graduating high school means a lot of different things to me all at once. It means crying at the thought of no longer being able to see my friends (almost) every day in the halls of a building that’s so familiar to me, and it simultaneously means finding so much hope in change and pride in the dreams/plans of my peers. It means panicking as I feel my life start to rearrange completely, and it simultaneously means feeling the positive weight of responsibility and independence as I work to take charge of that rearrangement as best I can. As I write this, I also realize that graduating high school means being grateful for all of the things that I didn’t pay enough attention to before—that communal commiseration over the upcoming math test, that sophomore year study group, the too-early-in-the-morning gym classes ending in fun field trips (shoutout Mr. O’Neill), and the ability to even go to school and receive an education in the first place. That last one is big… attending and graduating high school is, in many ways, a privilege that so many kids globally and in our own communities don’t have, and I’ve learned to not take that lightly.

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

The first song that comes to mind as perpetually reminiscent of my time in high school is “Dreams” by The Cranberries. 

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

This is an impossible question. My teachers over the years have, in all honesty, saved my life. I have too many people to thank–Ms. Neusen for being my GOAT (there’s an added reference in here that she will understand), Mr. Zappia for believing in me more than I have ever believed in myself, both Ms. Gs for loving and uplifting kids of color within a system that beats us down, Profe Roberto for making any given day infinitely better with a Federico García Lorca reference or a hug or both, Ms. Miller for letting me talk her ear off about Pakistani culture (and for always making me feel safe and heard enough to do so), Mr. Harris for being more patient with me than I deserved, and Ms. Gevelber for just about everything. I will always think about Mr. Rhodes whenever I work up the courage to try some oboe/cello/piano improv, and Profe Tyser whenever I turn on a Radio Ambulante episode, and Mr. Cao whenever I listen to the Little Shop Of Horrors soundtrack (which is actually quite often). I owe so much of who I am to the tirelessly caring faculty/staff that I have been so lucky to know–let alone learn from–and I’m glad to know that I will always carry them with me in these ways. 

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

To any incoming freshman, I say don’t worry so much. Entering high school, kids are kind of set up to fall down the terrifying rabbit hole of GPA, extracurriculars, volunteering, college applications, college decisions… it’s all presented to you as if everything is very final, and as if a bad course grade or college rejection spells doom for your future. This is not true. You will make mistakes on tests, struggle with grades, and receive rejection letters from colleges if college is what you choose to pursue. This is okay. This is completely okay, actually. It’s never the end of you, your dreams, your passions, or your future. Even when this Eurocentric education system makes us feel the opposite, know that there is so much more to you and the life that you are bound to create than a high school transcript! Try your best, celebrate your successes (especially if you’re a young woman of color–we don’t celebrate ourselves enough!), make quick peace with your failures, and know that you’re going to be just fine. To my younger self, I say get a planner. Please get a planner and actually update it. You cannot keep forgetting exam times and assignment due dates like this. It’s just not sustainable.

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

I love talking to strangers! I like having fun with the people at my table in class (even if I never see them again once the semester ends), chatting with bus drivers and school staff (shoutout Ms. Kirsten), and taking the chance to make friends with people across different grade levels and/or social groups. I was not expecting to come out of high school with an understanding of myself as a semi-extrovert, but here we are. My high school experiences have taught me the value of having conversations with whoever’s sitting next to you and getting to know, in whatever small or big way, the people that you’re sharing a space with for so many years. 

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

In the coming year, I’m really looking forward to seeing all of my friends start new phases in their lives and celebrating them throughout it all! I’m very lucky to know so many people who are always so easy to be proud of and excited for. Also, there will be lots of ice cream and many sleepovers before college this summer, which is always great.

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

In five years, I hope to be pursuing a graduate degree and/or settling into a fulfilling career (journalism, ideally, or something involving writing); but more than that, I hope to be building and living a life that I am genuinely happy with. I hope to have regular dinners with friends and FaceTime calls with those who live too far away for that, exchange photos and letters with family across continents, take advantage of and seek out new opportunities, stick to my principles, work a job that has a positive impact on my peoples/communities, live in a space that is my own and fill it with people that I love, spend lots of time outside when the weather is nice, make so much more music, and keep working to be good to the people in my life. Attaining the financial freedom to do those things wouldn’t be bad, either.

Edgewood High School Graduate Chance
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

Freedom

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

Opps on deck by VonOFF1700

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

Ms Sanders. She pushed me to my goals.

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

To take more risks– it’s something I wish I would’ve learned sooner. 

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

Just keep going hard.

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

I look forward to exploring a new area– I’m going to Arizona State so I’ll definitely have so many new places to go. 

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

Entering my master’s program and possibly moving abroad. 

Madison West High School Graduate Darius 
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

Graduating is just a big stone you’ve stepped on, but you’ve only reached your peak of success and the job isn’t finished. College is where you touch the crystal where life is in your hands and now you have to beat up success, because it always comes with challenges to make you give up. “Only the strong survive.”

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

Came Way Too Far – Friday 

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

Ms. Grant -She pushed me on the days I didn’t want to go anymore, my teacher listening and finding a solution to help me fight back, they knew everything I went through and almost fought my way to a dark hole because of life. I thank all teachers involved.  It was never just one. They all believed in me! 

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

I would be smarter on choices I made in my early high school years, put myself first in lots of situations and save money early.

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

I have great connection skills. I can maneuver through lots of obstacles even though they may be hard.  Another is… never giving up on myself and pushing myself until I’m tired and knowing I don’t get much sleep but still work hard. I know I have a good heart and the future will be successful for me! 

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

The things that I am looking forward to this summer are working with MSCR, and making lots of content over the summer, preparing myself for college life. I know it will be fun.  

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

In 5 years, I see myself living life, traveling with a degree in film studies and making content. I know I will pick up other trades such as truck driving and maybe even flipping houses. In five years, I will be living the dream, finding my own space, and being rich off YouTube with all the hard work paid off supporting my family and giving back to my community. 

Madison West High School Graduate Sandy 
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

Graduating high school will allow me to start repaying my debt to my parents. They came to another country in hopes of a better future for their children, so me graduating is just getting me closer to my end goal of becoming a lawyer and helping my community.

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

Prom by Sza

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

Ms. Anna, she lights up any room that she is in, she has been there for me at my lowest and at my grateast. Always being my number one fan and pushing me to my limits. Ill always remember her with open arms and asking me if “Im okay” every time I entered Avid.

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

Enjoy it, it really does fly by so fast. Go to that football game, go to the dance don’t let yourself be hold back because your friends think its lame, enjoy it because later on you’ll regret it. Remember that tomorrow is not promised take that risk because you never know what you’ll get out of it.

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

That I can do much more than I think I can. As well as everything truly happens for a reseason because if its meant to be it will happen.

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

In the upcoming year I hope to be able to volunteer and work to give back to my community what I have been fortunate enough to have. As well as traveling around the world with friends during the summer.

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

In 5 years I hope to be completing my first year of Law school, while still working for Simpson Street Free Press an organization that believed in me. As well as buy my first property to rent out!

Madison East High School Graduate Gregory 
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

Graduating high school means a lot to me, it marks the beginning of my journey. Just one of the first of many milestones.

2. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

Advise I’d give to people entering high school is to branch out and find things you like to do, don’t just do things because your friends are doing them.

3. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

The most surprising thing I learned about myself during high school would be how capable I am at doing things. Coming into high school I doubted myself with a lot of things whether it was athletics, school, interacting with people, leading groups, etc. I was my biggest hater but to see me strive through and accomplish those things really helped me learn that I can do anything if I work for it.

Verona High School Graduate Kenson 
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

Graduating to me means everything. It shows me how far I came with all the hard work being put in over the years.

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

Riff 2 – flawed mangoes

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

My football coach. Coach Dawkins for my years spent in Verona, he has helped me perfect my at wide receiver. I’ll always remember the jokes during practice.

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

To stay consistent the whole way through and apply myself. I’ve learned that high school was definitely a different ballgame. 

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

The most surprising thing that I learned about myself was that school helped me become more responsible with taking care of my schoolwork.

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

Excel and college and have a great freshman year.

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

At a top division football team entering the NFL draft.

Verona High School Graduate Màlahja 
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

Graduating from high school means a lot to me. I can start my own career, make my family, proud, and walk that stage for my mom which means the world to me.

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

Jhene Aiko- W.A.Y. She said “You got to keep going.”  Drake song- “Successful.”

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

My mom, Mr. Maryland and Ms. Mentzer are who I remember. When I felt like school was falling apart or even at my lowest point, they made sure I kept going no matter what.

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

Going to a new environment and trying new things are things I am looking forward to. I know I will start my career and see myself be so successful!

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

Take care of your physical and mental well-being. You are going to be exposed to so many new things, places, people, and experiences.

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

I learned that I am way stronger than I think, and I will not give up.

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

I see myself in five years happy year than I’ve ever been having my own business, taking care of my family and just being so successful!

Verona High School Graduate Nana
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

Graduating high school will mean crossing into a new chapter of life with new responsibilities.

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

Congratulations by Post Malone

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

The person that has had the most impact on me is my 10th grade chemistry teacher, Miss H because even though her class was hard, she helped me learn that it is impossible to get a good grade if you try hard enough.

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

I would tell my younger self to not be afraid of AP classes and take more of them.

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

I learned that as long as I had a positive mindset about learning, it made it easier.

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

I’m looking forward to learning more about computer science and being to make new friends. 

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

In five years, I see myself continuing my education and possibly earning another degree.

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Verona High School Graduate Ramah
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

Graduating will mean to me that I accomplish an important milestone in my life and the moment I’ll receive my diploma I’ll know all my hard work paid off in the end.

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

Congratulations By Post Malone.

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

My science teacher, Mr. Tiller. I was never a science person, and he opened my view on science. He also was like a school dad to me. Mr. Tiller often gave me advice and support.

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

My advice to others would be to take all four years of high school series, so that you can finish strong and accomplish what you desire in life. And to steal live life and experiencing things.

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

Most surprising thing I learned about myself is that I have to stay busy to stay on track and on top of my priorities.

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

I looking forward to attending college, so I can start experiencing more in life than what my current environment allows me to. 

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

In five years, I see myself with my bachelors degree and certificate in aesthetics. I also will be working as a nurse in a hospital while working towards owning my own business.

Vel Phillips Memorial High School Graduate Ameria 
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

It’s a major milestone that represents all the hard work and dedication I’ve put into my education. It’s a step towards my future goals and opens up new opportunities for me. I’m excited to celebrate this achievement with my friends and family!

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

Want some more – Nicki Minaj

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

Ms. Jones had the most impact on me because of the support, dedication, and time, to help students in their years of high school. And being a guide in BSU, showing us what a real leader should be. And always supporting our dreams.

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

If I could give advice to my younger self or anyone entering high school for the first time, I would say to embrace the journey and be open to new experiences. And always give yourself GRACE. High school can be a mix of excitement and challenges, but it’s important to stay true to yourself, find your passions, and surround yourself with people who want the same goals as you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed because closed mouths don’t get fed!

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

I learned about myself; I don’t have to be the loudest (voice) in the room to be heard. And I can use my words to tell someone how I feel.  And, just learning that I can be resilient and adaptable to any environment. It was empowering to see myself grow and develop new skills throughout those years.

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

I look forward to being apart of something way bigger then me like an HBCU. Understanding the culture and the history a lot more from being in a ALL black environment.

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

In 5 years I see myself starting me HR business woman job. And still proving that I’m going to MAKE it. And no one can stop me!

Vel Phillips Memorial High School Graduate Azahria 
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

Graduating means a lot to me. It’s a big milestone in my life. It represents all the hard work and dedication I put into my studies. It’s a steppingstone towards achieving my goals and dreams. Plus, it’s a chance to celebrate with friends and family.

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

FRIENDS – Laundry Day

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

The teacher who had the biggest impact on my life is Ms. Jones.  She always held me accountable and made sure I was on the right track when it came to applying to colleges and scholarships. She introduced me to HBCUs and something I will always remember is her taking me out of state to visit and tour HBCUs and helping me get accepted into many schools.

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

If I could give my younger self advice before entering high school, I would say, “Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things! High school is a time of growth and self-discovery, so embrace every opportunity that comes your way. And remember, it’s okay to make mistakes. They’re just learning experiences that will help you become a better person.

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

The most surprising thing I learned about myself was how much I could adapt and change. I discovered new interests, made amazing friends, and even found strengths I didn’t know I had.

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

Something I’m looking forward to doing this year is packing my things and moving across the country for college.  I know it’s going to be a bittersweet experience but I’m excited for the next chapter of my life.

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

In the next 5 years I see myself going into my career as an ultrasound technician, helping many people in need of internal scans

Madison East High School Graduate Abby 
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

Graduating high school means overcoming all the obstacles thrown at me.  I have been through so much in high school but I could keep going and persevere even when I felt like giving up.  Graduating will allow me to be proud of what I have accomplished. 

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

A song that always reminds me of this time in my life is Pink and White by Frank Ocean.  This song can represent struggle but also seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

The teacher who had the most impact on me was my AVID teacher Ms. Tjugum.  She has been with me the whole way through high school and has always supported and encouraged me to keep going.

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

Advice that I would give to my younger self would be to surround myself with like-minded people.  Be around people who want to succeed as much as you because it allows you to have support throughout your high school years.

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

The most surprising thing that I learned about myself in high school was that I am stronger than I think I am. 

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

One thing that I look forward to is learning more about independence and becoming my authentic self. 

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

In 5 years, I see myself either in graduate school or starting my career at an architecture firm somewhere in San Diego. 

Vel Phillips Memorial High School Graduate Dajon 
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

It represents a significant milestone in my life and marks the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. It’s a moment of accomplishment and a stepping stone towards my future goals and aspirations. Graduating high school opens up new opportunities for higher education, career paths, and personal growth. It’s a time to celebrate all the knowledge and skills I’ve acquired and to reflect on the experiences and memories made during my high school journey. 

2. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

Mr. Mawer has had a profound impact on me as a teacher. He instilled in me the importance of organization and punctuality through rigorous coursework in our AVID class. This preparation went beyond just academic skills; it was about getting ready for college and the real world. Thanks to his guidance, I feel fully equipped and confident to take on the next big step in my life. His lessons have been invaluable, not only in terms of educational readiness but also in personal development.

3. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

Some advice I’d offer to my younger self or anyone entering high school is to stay focused and not let anyone derail your path. High school comes with its share of drama and distractions, but it’s crucial to prioritize your education above all else, including socializing with friends. Keeping your goals in sight and maintaining your dedication to your studies will set a solid foundation for your future.

4. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

I’ve discovered that I’m quite organized and always strive to stay on top of all my tasks.

5. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

I’m really looking forward to college! It’s exciting to think about getting closer to my dream job and having the opportunity to meet new people. This next step is all about growth and making connections that could last a lifetime.

6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

In five years, I see myself thriving in my dream job, owning several real estate properties, and having completed my college education. By then, I hope to be well on my way to achieving success.

Vel Phillips Memorial High School Graduate Sodik 
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

To me graduating high school represents the first step toward achieving my goals. Being a first-generation student, my journey is especially meaningful since my immigrant parents weren’t afforded the opportunity to attend high school. This is a significant milestone for me as I aspire to pursue higher education.

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

I listen to a lot of different genres of music such as Hip/Hop and Afrobeats. I will definitely remember some of the Afrobeat hit from Davido , Burna Boy and Tekno.

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

One person that had the most impact on me is my mentor Emanuel Scarborough. He has been my mentor since middle school through a program that mentored young black boys. I will definitely remember him sharing nuggets on things to live by and overall presentation such as proper etiquette when it comes to eating and grooming.

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

An advice I would give to anyone entering high school is seek out the opportunities that comes your way and to stay on top of your all assignments. 

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

The most surprising thing I learned in high school was the importance of perseverance. Being a first-generation student, seeing my immigrant parents sacrifices has motivated me to work harder and overcome challenges.

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

I look forward to attending a Historically Black College or University majoring in Business Finance. I also plan on doing some traveling and securing a good internship.

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

I see myself breaking generational barriers by graduating from college and in a successful career.

Monona Grove High School Graduate Ethan
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

It would be the next big step in my life and leading by examples for my younger sisters and family. Knowing that i did it for my family and all of my loved ones makes graduating very special. 

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

Can’t tell me nothing-Kanye west 

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

The counselors at my high school were always there for me when needed. Helping me with the process of getting through high school and into college. Always encouraging me to do what i needed to do.

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

Stay out of the way of people when you are at school, get what you need to get done and always show up. 

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

That I learned to put all of my attention into school and the work there, and not going to school to hangout with friends and slack off. 

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

Travel a bit before college starts but once college starts i’ll be ready to go and start my new life. 

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

Making money and enjoying my life.

Madison LaFollette High School Graduate Da’Jianna 
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

Graduating high school means to me that I’m following in the path to success, no matter what career I will pursue. Just like passing a level in a video game, it gets harder, but each level counts. You gotta beat the level to move on and I’m finally gonna beat this level and move on to the next. 

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

What’s next by Drake

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

My Avid teacher Ms. Hank had the most impact on me through my years of high school. She loved and supported me like a mom and I will always remember her as such.

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

Advice that I would give my younger self or anyone else entering high school is to not be afraid to stand out. High school will go by very fast and if you don’t explore and try new things, even if you might stand out a bit, you won’t fully enjoy your time and feel like it was worth it. 

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

I learned that I’m not as much as an introvert as I thought I was. As I got more comfortable and grew closer to my classmates and fellow students I was able to socialize more than I thought I could.

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

I’m looking forward to living a new experience. I’m gonna have to navigate life alone for the first time and live a new life that’s different from what I have experienced for the past 18 years. 

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

I see myself continuing my academic journey through medical school in the hopes of becoming an anesthesiologist in the future. 

Madison LaFollette High School Graduate Jesse
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

Graduating high school, will mean my goals have been met. Giving me the sense of accomplishment. I’ve succeeded in completing a chapter in my life, and ready to move on to the next chapter.

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

7 years by Lukas Graham because now that I look at high school, I think about all the core memories I had with friends, family, teachers, staffs and so much more!

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

Mr. Andrew Poquette, he is my avid teacher, I’ve had him all four years of my high school experience. He has taught me so much, being in his class I’ve been able to grow into the person I am today. When I look at him, I think of family. That’s how he wanted each of the students to look at one another. Avid is like family not only to me but to all the avid students. He made my experience in high school well enjoyed. I’ll remember the times he went out of his way to come support me even though he wasn’t obligated to. That just means so much to me.

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

Simply use your time wisely, it may seem like you have so much time. But you really don’t. Time moves fast when you’re not thinking about it. Look at me already about to graduate, I was literally just a freshman!

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

I can be a social person. I always kept to myself growing up, didn’t really like opening up to others. But my time and experiences I’ve had in high school made it possible for me to do so.

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

Just going to college, seeing what that will offer for me. 

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

5 years I see myself in medical school.  I would have just graduated from UW Madison.  I’ll be pursuing my goal of becoming an anesthesiologist somewhere in Texas.

Monona Grove High School Graduate Kyliegha
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

It will a great accomplishment and a stepping stone into the next phase of my life.

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

Pretty Girl Rock

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

Ms. J in the library always makes me feel heard.

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

I would tell them to be themselves and to remember to be curious and ask the hard questions.

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

I learned life is long and that I am tougher than anyone

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

Starting the next phase of adulthood while adjusting to a new environment while gaining an education.  

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

I see myself going on to earn my master’s in psychology.

Monona Grove High School Graduate Jah’Mariah
1. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

“Break From Toronto” by PartyNextDoor, because me and my friends played that song over and over throughout the years

2. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

Do my school work and apply myself, because over the years I realized not doing my work got me nowhere and getting those assignments in would be my best bet

3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

Same friends, real estate agent, nice car, no kids, good credit score

Monona Grove High School Graduate Jarvis
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

Graduating high school means a lot to me because it shows how successful I have become and it also starts a new beginning in my life. It feels good and exciting my parents are proud and my certificate will help me get a job and get into a good school.

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

Young Forever (by Jay-Z)

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

Ms . Banks She always tells me Tu vas réussir (which means you will succeed).

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

Be yourself, not every friend is a good friend. Make good choices keep working hard and never give up.

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

Getting along easily with others

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

Work more and invest

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

I see myself working in the hospital, running up and down to save patients’ lives. (Giving back to my community).

Sun Prairie East High School Graduate Nathanael
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

It’s a lifetime milestone that those who came before me would pray for but it’s not the end of my journey.

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

No Flockin   Kodak Black

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

Mr pickett his constant effort to push me to do better in precalculus.

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

Never procrastinate anything you do / Create good habits 

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

I actually like math!

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

College 

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

Cybersecurity engineer and a real estate investor

Sun Prairie East High School Graduate Anthony
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

It will mean I can continue a long line of history in my family. 

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

Unforgettable by French Montana 

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

My algebra 2 teacher Mr Roger’s he reignited my interest in math and now I’m going to college for it.

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

Be yourself and don’t worry about who’s watching you. 

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

I’m a very generous person willing to help others at a drop of a dime.

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

I’m looking forward to attending the university of Eau Claire and becoming a student coach on the football team. 

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

In 5 years I see myself teaching and coaching football.

Sun Prairie East High School Graduate Zitha
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

It is important to me because I will feel very accomplished and proud of myself for working hard to receive my high school diploma.

2. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

My English teacher from 10th grade, Mrs. Hesselbach, made an impact in my life because she was so supportive and always willing to help. This motivated me to do well in not just her class, but it gave me confidence that I can do anything I put my mind to.

3. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

Don’t take the time in high school for granted. Make sure you use all of the resources that are given to you and take any advice from teachers and peers because they want to see you succeed. Overall, just have a good time with your friends and stay true to yourself and your morals. 

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

I can overcome any obstacles thrown my way and shouldn’t give up when things get hard.

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

Going to college and meeting new people and just discovering who I am as a person.

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

Graduated from college and have earned my bachelor’s degree and hopefully heading to Medical School.

Middleton High School Graduate Leaura
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

To me graduating is a milestone for me and my family. It’s a success for me and a moment to take in everything I’ve accomplished.

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

Headlines by drake. The reason why is because in my four years of school, I’ve had many people doubt me and think I couldn’t do it. I always came up and made sure to get it done plus more. It’s a good hype song as well.

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

I would have to go with my math teacher I had sophomore and junior year. He believed in me when I didn’t. 

4. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

I’m looking forward to being first gen and continuing my education at UW Madison. Being able to experience college.

Middleton High School Graduate Jaeana
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

To me, graduating high school will mean a lot. In today’s times, many people my age don’t get to live long enough to see graduation. A lot of people graduating right now are going to be thinking about their peers that unfortunately didn’t make it– whether it be due to gun violence, drug use, or mental health problems. So, graduating to me is an act of rebellion, as well as a milestone to treasure. 

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

Ribs by Lorde– The lyric “If feels so scary getting old” is becoming really poignant right now in my life. 

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

I think the teacher that had the most impact on me was my 7th grade teacher, Mrs. Zempel. I remember her kindness, and genuine love for teacher very fondly. I love when I’m able to tell a teacher truly cares about their students and has a love for teaching, and she was the first teacher I found that in. 

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

To take more risks– it’s something I wish I would’ve learned sooner. 

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

I think the most surprising thing I learned about myself was how confident I have the ability to be. I used to really struggle with feeling confident in myself and my work, and truly never saw myself with the level of confidence I have now. 

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

I look forward to exploring a new area– I’m going to Arizona State so I’ll definitely have so many new places to go. 

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

Entering my master’s program and possibly moving abroad. 

Edgewood High School Graduate Greg
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

Starting a new chapter in life.

2. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

Ms Beartline art class all 4 years of school, best class because art is peaceful.

3. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

Don’t be afraid to do something different.

4. What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself during high school? 

Making good connections.

5. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

Freedom

6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

I see myself thriving. 

Middleton High School Graduate Jayvyn
1. What will graduating high school mean to you? 

What does graduating mean to me? When I was younger, I used to always build puzzles with my grandma, it was one of her favorite hobbies. We would spend hours putting puzzles together, and during this time she shared many stories of her life and the people in it. All these stories were in some way vital to who she is as a person. Each story was a puzzle piece of her life, and in those moments was spent together she was putting her pieces together still. So graduating for me means starting my own puzzle, without help. Gaining my independence and proving that I am ready to create my own puzzle. 

2. What song will always remind you of this time in your life? 

Starships – Nicki Minaj, Heat Waves – Glass Animals, Viva la Vida – Coldplay 

3. Which teacher or person had the most impact on you, and what will you remember about them? 

That’s a hard one. I’ve had a lot of great experiences with teachers, but Mr. Osborn is definitely going to be the teacher I remember for the rest of my life. Not only was he the first teacher of color I’ve had in my entire schooling, but his ability to connect with students and cultivate a warm community within the classroom was what made him great.  

4. What advice would you give your younger self (or anyone else) entering high school for the first time? 

Use this time to explore any and everything. I moved from a K-12 school where my graduating class was 37 students to the biggest public high school in WI where my graduating class is now 600. There were so many different things that I got to explore and I don’t know where I’d be without some of the discoveries I made 

6. What is one thing that you are looking forward to doing in the coming year? 

Cutting my hair. I’ve been growing my hair since before high school and it’s become such a defining part of my character. I’m ready to cut it short and start a new. 

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

Hopefully at the end of my masters program, but also across the world living life and experiencing different cultures. 

Middleton High School Graduate Jordyn
Edgewood High School Graduate Angel
Edgewood High School Graduate Claudia
Edgewood High School Graduate Ty