Senior Spotlight Story

Senior+Spotlight+Story

Jianna Wiedenmeyer, Staff writer

            First off, I want to send a big congratulations to the Class of 2021! What a rollercoaster it has been. All of you should be incredibly proud of yourselves and all you have had to endure these past two years of high school. While all seniors are celebrating their accomplishments, there are a few seniors who should be specially recognized for being the first in their families to graduate from high school and/or and head off to college in the fall.

 

First in their family to graduate from high school on time: Riley Foster and Wyatt Lane

 

First in their family to go to college: Arianna Crawford, Kaitlyn Crow, Alexandria Cummings, Riley Foster, Stephanie Gomez-Garibay, Olivia Little, Khloe Murphy, Jinrong Pettit, and Maile Weston

 

First in their family to go to college in the US: Juan Haeckermann-Godoy

 

            While I would love to be able to highlight each of these seniors, this article will focus on one senior in particular. Riley Foster is proud to be the first in his family to graduate from high school on time as well as go onto a 4 year college. He shared these answers to my questions.

 

                                                           

 

What was one of the hardest challenges you had to overcome in high school?

“I think the hardest thing about being in high school is managing time, always having a good attitude towards the day, and handling the stress that comes with the schoolwork.”

 

How was the last year of high school for you? 

“Chaotic. It was very much up and down like having the rug pulled from underneath me; a lot of change and a new and foreign way of learning. Some of the lows include my parents getting divorced, the challenge of learning from home, taking care of my siblings, and managing my time. Some of the highs were getting to play football my senior year, supporting my girlfriend when she played tennis, graduating, and wrapping up the year on a high note with some of the best grades I have had my whole high school career.”

 

What were some of your successes in school before the pandemic? And after?

“Successes in school before the pandemic include winning the State Championship in 2019 [for football]. It was easier to connect with friends, and maintain consistent grades because I was in person, sitting down, seeing what the teacher was doing, going over [the work] with classmates, and easier to apply what I learned to homework and tests, and taking on my first AP class and finishing it with an A. Some of my successes after enduring the pandemic were finishing Junior year with all A’s, maintaining a healthy relationship with my girlfriend, finishing my Senior year of football as the #1 team in the state in every division, and graduating with a 3.6 GPA.”

 

Why are you the first in your family to reach this accomplishment?

“I am the first in my family to go to college right after high school and graduate on time because my dad dropped out of high school when he was 17 and went into the workforce and then enlisted to be in the Army after jumping from job to job. And my mom dropped out of high school for a year after being told that she would have to redo her junior year; then after about a year, she went back to get her diploma. I am also the oldest sibling in my family, so there is no other sibling ahead of me. After getting her diploma, shortly after she met my dad and then they had me which stalled them going to college until later. After my brother, sister, and I were old enough to take care of ourselves, my dad went back to get his Associates degree … and is planning to get his Bachelors in art at Evergreen State University starting this fall. Then my mom went back to Pierce College and got her Associates degree in 2017. My dad finished not long after in either 2018 or 2019.”

 

What does this achievement mean to you personally? How does it affect your thought process and drive to succeed?

“I don’t know, I feel like I’ve always known that I was going to go to college after high school and this is basically an answered prayer to a life-long dream to do something my family hasn’t done yet. It made me think of wanting to make them proud because it was something they never got to do and because they have stressed the importance of not following in their footsteps, getting [a] good education to get a job I truly want and not one I feel forced to have.”

 

What college are you planning to attend?

“I am planning to attend Northwest University”

 

What career path are you interested in pursuing?

“I am interested in computer science and youth ministry or ministry”

 

What draws you to this career?

“What draws me to computer science is my love for computers and understanding of how programs work and when I was taking a computer science course this past senior year, it helped me grow my love for coding and creating something that works on its own. And with ministry, I have had these strong thoughts and connections to teaching youth about the glory and love of God and how God can impact your life in remarkable ways.”

 

Did you learn any life lessons from these past two crazy years?

“I learned that having human interaction is very vital to mental, emotional, and physical health. I learned that things can change in a matter of seconds and the whole world can [seemingly] be flipped upside down. And I learned more about God and his love for me and others through those struggling times and I got to learn of all the miracles and blessings he brings even when we are in the lowest valley.”

 

How will your experience in high school affect your future?

“It affects my future because one of my major successes, becoming a Christian, helped change my outlook on the world and my outlook on humanity along with my outlook on love. It will help change my future because now I know, even in the hardest times, I am still loved by the one who created me. I believe that high school has helped me prepare for the future by keeping me on my toes and always being ready for change.”

 

            All of the senior class of 2021 should be incredibly proud of all they have accomplished. I wish all of you the best in your future plans!