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    Congratulations to Seattle Public Schools Class of 2019!
    Posted on 06/14/2019
    A graduate hugs a family member or friend at a graduation ceremony

    Congratulations to Seattle Public Schools Class of 2019!

    Seniors from Seattle Public Schools high schools are celebrating a momentous achievement in their lives—graduating from high school. As they prepare to begin new chapters, we extend our congratulations on their successes.

    Below are some voices from seniors throughout the district, as they share stories from their journey.

    Ballard High School Student

    A photo of RoudyCongratulations, Roudy! Roudy has been a student in Seattle Public Schools since kindergarten and is preparing to graduate this June. He has loved getting to make new friends, participate in sports (basketball, football, soccer, and track!), and building his culinary skills. Roudy has grown tremendously in his time as a student and has several adults who have supported him in his academic and personal achievements.

    One teacher shared advice that has guided Roudy’s decisions: “Set goals. If you believe in yourself, you can do whatever you want. Don’t focus on the negative stuff, focus on the positive.” And that’s just what Roudy has done and will continue to do after graduation. He will be working this summer and starting a culinary arts program in the fall. His dream is to one day open his own food truck serving Haitian and Mexican food, his two favorite types of cuisine. Roudy is excited and ready to start college. He knows it’s a big step but, as Roudy says, “I've been ready since I was 12!” Congratulations and best of luck in your future adventures!

    BRIDGES Students

    A photo of NinaCongratulations, Nina, who will graduate from Highline Achieve with a Comprehensive Transition Certificate in June 2019!

    In the Achieve program, Nina was able to explore his culinary interests through classroom, campus, and career participation. Nina completed a Culinary Skills Training Class through the Skills Center at Rainier Beach High School. On campus, Nina participated in Cooking Club and eventually became the club’s president, which required him to co-plan weekly menus and organize shopping trips. For career preparation, Nina completed a paid internship as a prep cook at Columbia City’s Super Six restaurant, and a six-week internship at Café Hope. On May 14, 2019, Nina started paid employment as a lobby host at Mod Pizza’s Occidental Square location. We are so proud of Nina’s leadership and thrilled that he found employment in his field of interest!

    A photo of MichaelCongratulations, Michael, who will graduate from Highline College in June 2019 with a Hospitality and Tourism Specialist (HOST) Certificate and a Comprehensive Transition Certificate from Highline Achieve!

    Before he entered Highline, Michael knew he was interested in potentially pursuing work at the airport. In a 10-week paid internship at the University District’s Watertown Hotel, Michael worked as a front desk assistant, assisting guests with check in/check out procedures and baggage. In addition to his college classes and internship, Michael is active in Unified Sports in the events of skiing and soccer and is a paid peer navigator for the Highline Achieve program, facilitating new students’ navigation and social participation on campus. In March 2019, Michael played with the Special Olympics Team USA soccer team at the World Games in Abu Dhabi which earned third place overall out of all participating world teams. Way to go, Michael!

    About BRIDGES: Seattle Public Schools' BRIDGES program is designed for young adults with disabilities ages 18-21 who continue to need special education services outside of a 9th-12th grade setting in order to meet their own unique post-secondary transition goals. The vision of the BRIDGES program is a world where young adults with significant disabilities are living their adult lives as productive, independent, and engaged community members. The mission is to provide learning opportunities that build vocational, social, and independent living skills. To learn more, visit the BRIDGES webpage.

    Franklin High School Student

    A photo of FranklinCongratulations, Austin! Austin has been a student at Seattle Public Schools since elementary school. During this time, he has made many memories, including participating in a school protest against gun violence. Austin was inspired by his peers’ commitment to and passion for justice.

    There were adults who supported him, including his dad and a teacher who got Austin interested in reading. Once this teacher sparked his love of reading, Austin dove into books, which set him up to win an award for advanced reading and even influenced his senior project, which involved Austin writing, illustrating, and presenting an original book on stuttering and how it affects people. Once Austin graduates this June, he will look for work at Bike Works in Columbia City and plans to attend Seattle Central College in the fall to pursue his interests in creative arts and design.

    Austin recognizes that high school can be tough and encourages all entering freshman in the fall to “study hard, develop relationships, ask for help if you need it, and do great things.” We are so proud of the great things you have already done, Austin, and can’t wait to see what you do next!

    NOVA Project Student

    A photo of MarlonCongratulations, Marlon! Marlon is a student at NOVA Project, and when given a compliment, he will respond humbly. “Thank you, but I think that’s more objective than subjective.” When he speaks, he chooses his words carefully and purposefully. Marlon is passionate about his studies and is an exemplary student and is a 2019 Seattle Scholarship Fund recipient. He takes meticulous notes, asks questions, and continuously seeks to understand as he strives to become the best version of himself.

    A few years ago, Marlon suffered a brain aneurysm. “I thought I was in the hospital for a few months, but my family told me I was there for a long time,” he says. “It was wake-up call for me. Once I left the hospital, I wanted to make better decisions.” Marlon was inspired by the medical professionals that helped his recovery at Seattle Children’s Hospital, and he wants to pursue studies in the medical field and specifically work in art rehabilitation therapy.

    He encourages his fellow students to, do their work, don’t procrastinate, and to finish their work. “If something is preventing you, that’s an explanation. But if you don’t have a good reason, you’re hurting yourself in the long run. If it’s important to you, you’ll make sure to do it. Why would you hurt yourself?” Marlon especially wants to thank Susan Barth, his science teacher, and Jennifer Stigner, his college and career counselor for their support.

    Roosevelt High School Students

    A photo of three members of the teamCongratulations, Maia, Cara, Tessa, and Maddie the leaders of the Roosevelt High School Suicide Prevention Team.

    Maia, Cara, Tessa, and Maddie (not pictured) worked this year to make Roosevelt High School a community where everyone feels included, safe, and comfortable reaching out. These student leaders know the importance of respecting and caring for one another, including talking about difficult subjects, removing the stigma of mental illness, and taking time to ask for help if it's needed.

    Each student's favorite high school memory involved a school event or assembly where the entire school could come together to celebrate and support one another and use the time to talk about important topics that affected the student body. These three thoughtful young women want to use their leadership skills to share messages important to us all: “Don't be afraid to ask for help," “spend time making friends you care about," and of course, "don't vape!" Thank you for your wisdom – the world will benefit from your work!

    Seattle World School Student

    A photo of DelinaCongratulations, Delina! Delina’s story revolves around her strong resolve to succeed and make a difference. Since her arrival to the United States a few years ago, Delina has not only mastered a new language, she juggled school and work and has done so successfully. She also is a recipient of the 2019 Seattle Scholarship Fund. She first moved to the United States from Eritrea with her mother a few years ago. When they first arrived, they lived in a shelter, and it was there that she inspired to become an educator. “I used to volunteer to help the kids with homework and tutor them. That’s why I want to become a teacher.” She is grateful to her mother for her courage and the sacrifices she made for them.

     

    South Lake High School Student

    A photo of VanesaCongratulations, Vanesa! Vanesa, who attended South Lake for the past two years, is the South Lake High School Class of 2019 valedictorian.

    She says she is proud to represent the school and credits teachers and staff for helping her achieve and move on to greater things. “They know me on a personal level,” Vanesa says. “Principal Brown motivates us and pushes us to keep striving beyond our limits. Ms. Perez, my teacher, is what made South Lake special! She was committed to my success and often came in early or stayed after school just to help me graduate.”

    Vanesa says she benefited greatly from South Lake’s Teen Parenting Class, where she connected with a young mothers’ support group. It was in this space where she forged a bond with a mentor, Jenni. “It was through the help of the Parent Education Lab, I was able to return to school with my baby and attend classes,” Vanesa says. “I also continued to learn how to be the best mom I could be, all while working towards my high school diploma. South Lake provided an environment for me that didn’t require me to choose between being a mom or a student.”