Seniors continue passions post-high school

Maddie Coyle and Meena Sharma

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Throughout high school, many people participate in a variety of different clubs and activities to help set us up for success post high school. In doing so, many of us find our niche, something that we are truly passionate about, which can be something that one might want to continue after graduating. There are several mainstream activities that many students lean towards, but those also are not the only options to continue post high school. It is important that we emphasize those who might not be pursuing a mainstream activity, as well as those who are not planning to attend college. So many people, no matter where they may be headed and what they have accomplished, are going to achieve success in life based on opportunities they seized during and before high school. For those of us who may not have a passion in sports or some of the other mainstream activity, there are still other options to set you up for success in life that can even give you an idea of what you want to take on later. Surrounding are just a few seniors who will be continuing on with their passions after they graduate.

Annie Hedges

Annie Hedges is one ETHS senior who has taken advantage of some of the unique activities that ETHS has to offer. She will be majoring in special education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and took some of her ETHS experiences to help her decide on a major.

“I have been in Best Buddies at ETHS where I’m a peer leader board member. I also was in the interactive DLP gym class where I grew really close to a lot of the buddies. However, my biggest influence was Park School, where I have been working for the past year,” she said.

Kate McClintock

Kate McClintock is one ETHS senior who followed their passion from freshman year all the way to college. She is going to the University of Illinois to study civil engineering and her interest  in the field was sparked by the PLTW classes as well as her community service with civil engineers.

“The engineering classes have many opportunities to involve yourself outside of the classroom such as competitions, WiSTEM, and field trips to construction sites. I want to make an impact in our community, especially as a woman in engineering where engineering is mostly a male dominant field,” she said.

Elena Morales-Grahl

Elena Morales-Grahl is one student who has done a lot of work for immigrant rights and plans to continue it through her post high school of attending Carleton College.

“I want to continue helping those in need whether it be through volunteering or advocating for minorities in STEM. I joined Students Without Borders because I am an immigrant and have been cognizant that I have been granted more privileges than most. I also joined Ambassadors and Team ASAP, which provided outlets for me to advocate for immigrant families in the school and in the community,” she said. 

Julia Shoaf

Julia Shoaf has been involved in many social justice initiatives throughout her high school career, and created her own clothing shop, Paint It Back, where every article of clothing represents some sort of social justice message.

“The purpose of my store is to invoke discourse among my peers as well as any owner of the jacket and that is mostly so they can find their own responsibility in what it means to hold the position of what is stated on the jacket… I will be going to Temple University in Philadelphia and I am excited because my friend was telling me that I could totally move my shop there and that people in this space are motivated by social justice,” she said.

Tia Simms

Tia Simms has had a passion for cooking since seventh grade and has sought out opportunities to act on her passion. She will be taking a gap year to work at a family member’s restaurant.

“I’m taking a gap year and working so that when I got to culinary school I won’t have to take out as much money in student loans… . I would advise people to look for jobs and majors in school that they have a real passion for and understand that if you can get your degree or associates at a trade school do that because 4-year schools isn’t for everyone… I do plan on continuing to cook, I’m working at a diner my aunt is opening called Anthony’s in Chicago and after a year I’m going to culinary school for an associate degree,” she said.