What the new grads are saying in Douglas County

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Isaac Abramovitz, Rock Canyon High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

I will always remember the awesome friendships I made playing sports with my fellow classmates.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation? 

I am most looking forward to the tough new challenges that my future holds. Both academically and outside the classroom.

How can you make a difference in the world?

I can make a difference in the world by applying my world-class education to everyday problems and situations that confront our society, in order to make it a better place for all.

Bri Angle, Lutheran High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

My friends, of course, and my relationship with the teachers. They have helped me grow into the person I am today.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

Going to college and taking the next step in learning what I really want to learn about (theatre) and having an opportunity to grow in that area.

How can you make a difference in the world?

The arts are one of the areas that can have the most impact on people. The opportunity to tell someone else’s stories or share different viewpoints about things- creatively- can impact the way people see things.

Meghna Bagchi, Rock Canyon High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

I will remember all of the extracurriculars I participated in. They were all so much fun and it's where I made friendships that will last a lifetime. I also was able to learn more about career fields that I am interested in. Volunteering allowed me to interact with patients in a hospital setting and learn more about the system I hope to be a part of in the future. TSA and Science Olympiad allowed me to work with my friends to learn more about various subjects and compete with students from other schools.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation? 

After high school, I am looking forward to just being in college. I can't wait to learn more about a specialized subject that I truly love. Along with that, I am excited to be part of a new community, make new friends, and go on new adventures.

How can you make a difference in the world?

I hope to pursue my passion of becoming a physician in the future. Becoming a doctor would allow me to change patients lives for the better and make a personal, but meaningful, impact on those around me through healing.

Abhi Bhandari, Mountain Vista High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

I'll always remember the friends and opportunities that Vista gave me. No other school has the breadth of opportunity that Vista has, and being able to explore my passions and choose what best fits me has been a blessing. Most of all, I'll remember how much fun I had. Vista is unique in that the atmosphere isn't cutthroat and competitive, so having been able to laugh and have fun with those around me will be a fond memory going forward.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation? 

I'm looking forward to spending my last summer having fun with all of my friends before we all go to college.

How can you make a difference in the world?

I think I'll be able to change the world through my willingness to work with people and forge relationships. I don't think I'm even close to the smartest person in the world, and I think that mindset isn't conducive to growth, so I always give everybody 100% and try to make connections with as many people I can. With these connections and my skills as a speaker, I believe I will be able to bring people together to make a difference.

Chase Campbell, Lutheran High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

The impact the faculty and all of the other students have made on me.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

Moving on to college and seeing where God will take me.

How can you make a difference in the world?

I can use the gifts that I have been blessed with and share them with others.
 

Sarah Gates, Ponderosa High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

I will always remember that Ponderosa is a great school with many great staff members who really care about their students. I really feel like we are a community, and that I am a member of the Mustang family.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

After graduation, I am most looking forward to going to college, and knowing no one. I think it will be a time where I continue to develop as a person and create memories that will last a lifetime.

How can you make a difference in the world?

I make a difference in the world everyday. I never really know what impact my actions will have on other people nor to what degree, but I do my best to live a life where I help other people, even if that just means a smile in the hallway or holding open a door.

Kyler Hershman, Valor Christian High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

I will never forget the people I met while in the performing arts conservatory at Valor. Before my junior year, football and wrestling were my main focus and the only reason I took theatre was to fulfill the mandatory arts credits needed for graduation. I had no desire to join theatre productions, not to mention the conservatory, but life had different plans and I auditioned for Les Mis my Junior year of high school despite not previously knowing the show. I had never sang before this moment but it was an opportunity to try something new. Everyone was quick to yell at me for not knowing the iconic masterpiece but quicker to explain the show and force me to watch the movie. I fell in love with it. Not only was the music fantastic but the story broke and warmed my heart. I played the role of Marius and fell in love with performing and the community around me. I dove head first into musical theatre and loved every moment of it because I had a great family around me. 

What are you most looking forward to after graduation? 

I cannot wait to pursue what I love at the college level. A year and a half ago I never would have imagined that I would be going to Pace University in New York City for musical theatre with the hope of telling stories and connecting with humans for the rest of my life. I am so lucky to be living in the greatest city in the world doing my passion.

How can you make a difference in the world?

I plan to use the gifts and talents that God has given me to elevate his kingdom. I will use the platform of performing on the stage to share His light that flows through me.

Sophia Jones, Castle View High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

One thing I will never forget about my time at Castle View is the chocolate milk and cookies. All the students love them... and I am surely no exception. I've probably eaten hundreds throughout my four years there.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

After graduating high school, I look forward to diving into what I'm passionate about and seeing my classmates do the same all over the country.

How can you make a difference in the world?

I can make a difference in the world by continuing off the shoulders of Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, and Stephen Hawking to investigate a generalized theory of the Universe. Additionally, I can share what I've learned with others by teaching, publishing, and speaking.

Etash Kalra, Douglas County High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

I will always remember the close community that I had as a part of the IB diploma program at Douglas County High School. Whether it was working on group projects for a class or hiking up the Castle Rock, I will always cherish the memories that I made with my closest friends and classmates in the IB program. IB gave me a truly diverse, intellectual, and unique set of individuals who I am proud to call my best friends. They were an integral part of my high school experience. I will also always remember my teachers in the program, as they had a profound impact on my development as a student and as a leader. Through their guidance and enthusiasm for life, I have become a more open-minded, confident, and appreciative learner. That is something I wouldn't give up for anything else, and I hope to reminisce about those experiences and lessons that I have learned for life.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

After graduation, I am very excited to attend CU Boulder and take interesting classes in my favorite subjects, like Computer Science, Business, and Philosophy. At CU, I also aspire to study abroad for a year and create my own tech startup. Most importantly, I am looking forward to taking the big step of going to college, living independently, and moving to a new place. Through my education over the past 17 years, I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience, and I am ready to take that and apply it to my own life as I venture into the next stage of my life.

How can you make a difference in the world?

I believe that every individual can make a difference in the world by combining their passions with an initiative to help others. For me, my purpose in making a difference lies at the intersection of technology and education, as I aim to create technology that helps people gain an education in our ever-changing world. I hope to make technology accessible to those who do not have access to it, so that they, too, can work towards making this world a better place. I have gained a lot of knowledge through my school, as well as online. For those students around the world who aren't able to learn what they want to, I see technology as a means of achieving that goal. By starting up a social enterprise company, I hope to create technology that improves the status quo.

Greyson Koinzan, Mountain Vista High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

I will remember the most my friends and their impact on how I chose to live life. Throughout high school, I've dabbled in every activity I could do; I never had just "one thing,"--but rather, I became a social butterfly and jack-of-all-trades. Being able to connect with people not only across my school or across Colorado, but across the nation, has provided me with so many life skills and lessons that I find myself using every single day.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

I am most looking forward to being able to broaden my horizons in college. Highlands Ranch is a very small area that's known to be "The Bubble," so I'm looking forward to being able to branch out and experience life beyond Mountain Vista and Highlands Ranch.

How can you make a difference in the world?

I firmly believe in the power of voice, and that is how I can make a difference in the world. Voice is the engine of change--the people in power may be physically driving the car, literally making change happen, but the voice of the common man is the true driver of revolution. I know that if I, as well as the millions of other Gen Z people in the world, use my voice in any sort of manner, we are bound to change the world in even the smallest way. It doesn't matter what change you are trying to make in the world or in your community; it's how you use the power of your own mind to make the difference.

Justin Kopek, Douglas County High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

Above all else, I will always remember my involvement in the IB program at Douglas County High School. I met many of my closest friends through the IB program, and became involved in a tight-knit community of students who legitimately care about each other. Not only that, but IB has truly facilitated my personal growth and molded me into an open-minded, life-long learner. I owe a great deal of my success to my involvement in IB, and the fantastic teachers and advisors I've had the past couple of years. IB has absolutely defined my high school experience, and it's what I'll remember most about my time at DCHS.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

After graduation I'm most looking forward to beginning my studies at university next year. I'm excited to meet hundreds of new people, get involved in activities I'm interested in, and begin living on my own, figuring out how this whole "adulting" thing works. I also have to say that I'm really looking forward to escaping the snow and experiencing 70 degree weather in February.

How can you make a difference in the world?

I'd like to make a difference in the world through involvement in the US State Department. My dream job would be to work as a foreign service officer for the State Department, working internationally to encourage democratic processes, prevent human rights abuses, and facilitate international cooperation. Hopefully some day I'd even be able to help shape US foreign policy to address global issues and make a positive impact on millions of people from Colorado to Cambodia.

Gloria Lee, Rock Canyon High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

I will always remember the friends I've made throughout my four years at Rock Canyon. All the school spirit events I went to such as basketball games and Wish Week will always be my favourite parts of high school.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

I'm looking forward to experiencing new places and meeting new people out in Philadelphia.

How can you make a difference in the world?

After college, I hope to make a difference in the world by working on energy research. My focus will hopefully be on engineering of biofuels to make them more widespread by increasing their efficacy.

Taylor Littlefield, Douglas County High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

I will never forget being having the privilege of being part of Student Council. All the kids who are in there with me are like family, and I never thought that I would ever be so devoted to making our school a better place. I am so grateful for all the opportunities that Student Council has provided me with.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

I am looking forward to moving to Denver and being able to meet new people. I would like to be part of the Student Government at CU Denver eventually. I am excited to be able branch out and expand my social network.

How can you make a difference in the world?

I believe I can make a difference because of how strongly I support community service. I would like to encourage more people to get involved and giving back to their community. It may be required in high school, in order to graduate, but after that, it is a choice. I hope that more people will decide to help and give back, because it is so vital to create a stronger community.

Mitchell Lukes, Ponderosa High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

I will always remember the people I've met, the situations I've experienced and the explicit and tacit knowledge I've learned.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

I love Colorado, but I also am ready for a fresh start and I am looking forward to meeting new people that love the same things I do. I am looking forward to furthering my education at the college of my choice in Bozeman, MT.

How can you make a difference in the world?

Before my accident, I was a good kid, I did my homework, always on time and had after-school activities. But I never felt like I was a great kid and making a difference. After my crash, I was hospitalized for months and most of it was spent in Craig Hospital here in Englewood, CO. When I was taken through those doors my whole look on life changed. There were several people in much worst condition than I was and they still had the most positive, uplifting attitude on life. Meeting those people who have gone through the absolute worst gave me the motivation to share my story at graduation, to a conference at Craig and to the Denver Metro area through channel 7 news. I want to show people that if the people at Craig and I can conquer the tough things, they can too. Most people think that if something is going badly in your life its fate and bound to happen. That outlook on life will get you nowhere because the only thing that can affect your life is yourself. That is what I share and it has and will make a difference in the world.

Zoe Miyasato, Ponderosa High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

I will always remember the spirit of Ponderosa as we are one big family. We were supportive and electrifying at sport events. We have many unique people and talents at our school in the following arenas: culinary arts, theatre, sports, photography, robotics, and many more.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

After graduation, I am excited to attend Regis University to become a nurse. I have been an aspiring nurse since the beginning of high school. As I have been through medical problems myself, I really am looking forward to changing the lives of my patients and caring for all.

How can you make a difference in the world?

I will make a difference by working in the medical field for both children and adults. I want to research health development and answer the unknown. I want to a role model for all and be the person everyone can depend on.

Amelia Moenster, Rock Canyon High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

I will always remember the teachers that encouraged me to explore my interests and the friends that I made many memories with. I will always cherish my time as a Rock Canyon Jag.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

This summer, I will be a swim coach and can’t wait for the new experience. I am most looking forward to increased independence in college. I am also excited to pursue my business degree.

How can you make a difference in the world?

To make a difference in the world, I believe that I must start by bettering myself. I plan on volunteering in college, possibly continuing in the legal field. I am also interested in starting my own business.

Brock Mullen, Chaparral High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

I will always remember the amazing teachers I had that supported me academically and personally.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

I am most looking forward to being able to explore the world through travel and service.

How can you make a difference in the world?

I can make a difference by using my skills and personality traits to advocate for causes I’m passionate about, such as continuing my fundraising efforts for clean water.

Shannon Osoba, Rock Canyon High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

I will always remember the great friendships I have made over the years through various activities, sports, and classes. I have loved getting involved with the school through attending as many basketball games, dances, and Wish Week activities as possible. These events along with my participation in sports have truly shaped my high school career, creating memories I will carry with me for a lifetime.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

I am most looking forward to branching out and experiencing new things at the United States Air Force Academy. There are so many unique opportunities provided and I can’t wait to challenge myself and see what the future has in store.

How can you make a difference in the world?

In attending the United States Air Force Academy I have made a commitment to not only my education, but also my country. I hope to challenge myself as both a student and a leader, engaging in various activities and applying my studies in a way that will truly make an impact.

Clara Papula, Douglas County High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

Something I will always remember is when my theatre teacher told me four words I will never forget, “It is a strength.”

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

I’m most looking forward to becoming the best person I can possibly be.

How can you make a difference in the world?

To make a difference in the world, I hope to inspire as many people as I can to do what they love no matter what life throws at them.

Lexi Printz, Lutheran High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

The teachers are compassionate and actually care about the students.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

Starting something new (college at Montana State).

How can you make a difference in the world?

Adding work ethic into my community and leading by example.

Emma Sees, Valor Christian

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

I grew up in Alaska, and my family moved to Colorado after my sophomore year, so I actually transferred into Valor as a junior. Even though I would have absolutely loved to spend all four years at this truly incredible school, I feel so insanely blessed to have had my rather atypical Valor experience, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I've been able to develop somewhat of a unique perspective and thankfulness for all of the opportunities that Valor offers and all of the extraordinary people that are apart of this community after having gone to a public high school for my freshman and sophomore year. The dichotomy between the two has shaped me in countless ways that I am so grateful for. The way that teachers and students alike pour into each other at Valor is really just unparalleled, and that is easily what I will remember the most! 

What are you most looking forward to after graduation? 

I have been set on pursuing radiology and German since middle school, and I am so incredibly excited to be able to start my journey towards building a career for myself and, beyond that, building the life and family that I've always wanted. For the majority of senior year, I was actually pretty terrified of having to move on and do life without mom and dad. As I continue to approach graduation, though, I am actually really looking forward to this newfound independence and responsibility, and I feel more ready than ever to start adult-ing.

How can you make a difference in the world?

I think that making a difference in the world begins with making differences in the normal everyday situations and interactions that you find yourself in. Ultimately, all I want to do is love Christ and love others — pursuing an unbridled joy and living with a completely relentless zeal — in such a way that people notice that there is something intrinsically different about me and, subsequently, feel compelled to ask me about it. There just isn't a better way to transform the world than telling people about the One who makes it so remarkably beautiful and so worth living for. 

Addison Scherler, Valor Christian

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

During my time in high school, I've had many opportunities to get involved in the Valor community. I’ve served in Nicaragua and Thailand with my teachers and classmates, played volleyball, and joined student council. While these are some of my most cherished memories, the people that I made these memories with were the best part. I am fortunate to leave Valor with long lasting and genuine relationships with both my teachers and friends.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

I am excited to use the skills that I’ve learned in high school to take the next steps to doing something worthwhile with my life. I cannot wait to continue my studies at Auburn University and eventually enter into the medical field. I could not be more thrilled with my college choice and becoming a part of the Auburn Family in the fall. I am eager to discover new friendships and communities beyond Valor as I enter into a new chapter of my life.

How can you make a difference in the world?

It’s important to use my own actions as a demonstration of how others can create change rather than complaining about the world's problems. I strive to set myself apart from the rest of the world by getting involved and ultimately, connecting with people. Whether it be within my school, job, or on a larger scale, I can influence others by believing in something greater than myself. I owe all that I accomplish to God and it is my biggest desire to serve Him. Since I was younger, I’ve been intrigued by medicine and all that it encompasses. While there are many outlets to serve others, I hope to use what I learn to directly impact people's lives.

Jaden Tactaquin, Castle View High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

The incredible friendships I formed with my peers and teachers.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

Wholeheartedly pursuing old and new passions without anything holding me back.

How can you make a difference in the world?

The little things. You don’t have to save the entire world to make a difference. If you can show even one person the love in the world that there is to offer, you have still made a difference.

Korry Tunnicliff, Ponderosa High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

When thinking about what I have achieved and experienced in high school, I will never fail to remember the countless friends and mentors I have found both in theatre and in wrestling. The companionship and extreme selflessness I have had others share with me have changed me for the better; I would not be where I am without the support systems I have been gifted.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

Sleeping in. Finally.

How can you make a difference in the world?

By working towards a career in engineering that develops my abilities to design biomedical solutions, I can make a difference by working to create and develop artificial organs and limbs for others, as well as new treatments for certain diseases.

Maya Winslow, Mountain Vista High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

I will always remember the events that I attended with my friends. One of my fondest memories of high school is jumping around in the pouring rain with my friends at a football game just so we could soak up every last moment during our senior year.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

After graduation I am super excited to learn to surf! I am ready for life in San Diego!

How can you make a difference in the world?

I will make a difference in the world by spreading kindness. Everyday I will work to be a ray of sunshine in someone’s life. Over the past four years I have learned that you cannot judge a book by its cover. It sounds cheesy but I have seen kindness and love transform a person. Everyone deserves that opportunity.

Yibo Yang, Legend High School

What will you always remember about your time in high school?

I'll always remember all the help from wonderful teachers, staffs, advisers, peers and etc. Without them, I would not be able to receive any of those achievements and have a great life in Legend. When I need help for anything, they will always be there for me to help to overcome those difficulties. I'm really grateful for teachers also being mentors to help us not only on academic work but also on life and future development such as Mrs. Cynthia Henderson, Mr. Derek Stasiak, Mrs. Debbie Tawzer, Mr. Jay Nelson, Mr. Brian Fleet, Mr. Brent Jackson, Mr. Timmy Coit, Mr. Matthew Wilson, Mr. Mike Ackerman, Mrs. Karen Deal, Mrs.Cheryl Taylor, etc. I felt I'm a part of this community, even I join the class as a foreign exchange student who has a totally different background with other students.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

After graduation, I'm most looking forward to spending some days hiking in the mountains, visiting many other remarkable landscapes in the nation, meeting some new people in the summer program and being prepared for the upcoming adventure in college.

How can you make a difference in the world?

In order to make a difference in the world, I believe there are many ways. As big as having professional skills to improve the technology in major areas, to as small as smiling to all the people I met in daily life, offering help when they need it, bring positive influence to the community, and picking up all the trash in sight. I believe in the butterfly effect and will continue to contribute my effort into the surrounding regardless of big or small.

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