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Where Are They Headed?

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Lyndsey Lafitte, McKinley WadeAfter applications, essays and testing, members of the Class of 2014 finally have decided where they will be going to college. For some, their future careers have been decided since kindergarten, but others’ passions have shifted dramatically over years. Read on to see where our local students are headed.

1. Lyndsey Lafitte – Annunciation Orthodox School, Lamar High School; McKinley Wade – River Oaks Baptist School, Lamar High School
Cousins Lyndsey and McKinley have always been close but with different interests. As a child, Lyndsey wanted to be either an author or a rock star. She has decided to major in biomedical sciences at Northwestern University. She wishes she could tell her kindergarten self to be more outgoing and to take more risks. McKinley dreamed of being an astronaut. McKinley would remind her kindergarten self to work hard, advice that she has adopted herself. She will attend the College of William and Mary, planning to earn a degree in business.

2. Hailey Haut – Horn Elementary School, Pershing Middle School, Bellaire High School
Hailey wanted to be a doctor, astronaut or president of the United States when she was younger. She has decided instead to study computer science at Rice University. Hailey would encourage her kindergarten self to try everything, even if she does not think she will like it.

3. Matt Speer – Shlenker Elementary School, The Emery/Weiner School, Episcopal High School
Though Matt wanted to be a doctor as a child, his interests have changed dramatically. After enjoying theater so much in high school, he has decided to study theater performance and production at Texas State University in the fall. He would advise his kindergarten self to take advantage of nap time.

4. Bowie Lin – West U Elementary School, Lanier Middle School, Bellaire High School
When he was younger, Bowie wanted to be a pediatrician, architect and an astronaut. He has since decided to study biochemistry and cell biology at Rice University. He wishes he could tell his kindergarten self not to worry about what other people say, and do whatever makes you happy.

5. Amanda Taylor – Condit Elementary School, Lanier Middle School, Bellaire High School
When she was younger, Amanda dreamed of being president of the United States. For now, she has decided to pursue a major in finance at Texas A&M University’s Mays School of Business. Amanda would warn her kindergarten self to stay away from boys, and to always be herself.

6. Olivia Brown – Roosevelt Elementary School, Pin Oak Middle School, Bellaire High School
Inspired by her team experience at Bellaire High School, Olivia will play softball at Houston Baptist University in the fall, with plans to major in sports marketing. When she was in kindergarten, Olivia wanted to be a pediatrician. She would tell her kindergarten self to continue to study and make good grades because it will all pay off.

7. Melissa Darlow – Condit Elementary School, The Emery/Weiner School
Much has changed for Melissa since she was in kindergarten. Though she originally wanted to be an interior designer, Melissa has since changed her career ambitions. She will major in nutrition at the University of Florida in the fall. Melissa would remind her kindergarten self not to take life too seriously, and to make the most out of every situation.

8. Emma Graves – St. Thomas’ Episcopal
As a child, Emma loved horses, hoping to one day become a jockey of thoroughbred race horses. Now she will attend Georgetown University with plans to major in international affairs. If she could, Emma would tell her younger self not worry about being right all the time.

Hailey Haut, Matt Speer, Bowie Lin, Amanda Taylor, Olivia Brown, Melissa Darlow, Emma Graves, Collin Burwinkel, Jaime Yeates, Mark Sam Jr., James Masterson, Will Reid, Kristen Santiago, Connor Albert, Sarah Oakley9. Collin Burwinkel – Horn Elementary School, Pin Oak Middle School, St. Thomas High School
Even though Collin loved Bellaire baseball when he was growing up, he was fascinated by The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore. He admits to practicing being the weatherman often, making up fake weather reports for fun. Collin still dreams of being involved in the media industry and will major in public relations or media communications and broadcasting at the University of Alabama. Collin’s advice to his kindergarten self would be to make new friends, but remember to keep in touch with old friends, and just to enjoy life.

10. Jaime Yeates – Condit Elementary School, Trafton Academy, St. Pius X High School
“Always have an open mind,” Jaime would say to her kindergarten self, “and don’t freak out if things don’t go as planned.” At an early age, Jaime loved animals and wanted to be a veterinarian. However, Jaime took her own advice and changed her early career goals, planning instead to major in petroleum engineering at Texas A&M University.

11. Mark Sam Jr. – Condit Elementary School, Lanier Middle School, Bellaire High School
Inspired by the Bellaire Fire Department, Mark always wanted to be a firefighter. Since his kindergarten days, though, Mark has pursued other interests, discovering his passion for the sciences. He committed to Trinity University and is considering majoring in something math- or science-related. He would remind his kindergarten self to be friendly to everyone because you never know who you will be friends with in high school.

12. James Masterson – Northern Lights ABC School in Anchorage, Alaska, St. Thomas’ Episcopal
Obsessed with watching basketball as a kid, James hoped to one day be an NBA superstar like his role models. His advice to his kindergarten self would be to grow taller so he could achieve these early dreams. Since he did not, James has decided to attend Boston College, but has not formally declared a major.

13. Will Reid – West University Elementary School, Pershing Middle School, Lamar High School
At a young age, Will was obsessed with baseball, hoping to one day become a professional baseball player. Though his love of baseball is still present, Will has decided to pursue a career in business at Baylor University. He wishes he could tell his kindergarten self to treat everyone kindly.

14. Kristen Santiago – Post Oak School, Annunciation Orthodox School, St. John’s School
Ever since elementary school, Kristen has had a passion for dance. She wanted to be a ballerina when she was younger, and that desire for dance has continued. The St. John’s senior has committed to Columbia University, planning to major not only in chemistry but also in dance. Her advice to her kindergarten self would be to try new things because you never know what you’ll like.

15. Connor Albert – Presbyterian School, St. John’s School
When he was younger, Conner wanted to be a lawyer. However, since his early days, Connor has changed his career path. He will now study environmental engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.

16. Sarah Oakley – West University Elementary School, Trafton Academy, Episcopal High School
Like many young girls, Sarah loved dressing up and trying on new outfits, dreaming of one day being a famous fashion designer. Her passion for art and design is still prominent in her life. She will double major in studio art and business at Washington University in St. Louis. Sarah would tell her kindergarten self to enjoy everything while it lasts.

17. Xavier Marshall – St. Theresa’s Catholic School, St. Thomas’ Episcopal School
Inspired by the brave cops he always heard about, Xavier hoped to one day become a police officer. Since then, he has realized that his interests are more focused in business. Xavier has chosen to attend Texas A&M University for college, studying finance in the Mays School of Business. Xavier would tell his kindergarten self to never stop learning.

18. Blair Baldwin – Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart, Episcopal High School
When she was in kindergarten, Blair was inspired by Mia Hamm and hoped to one day be on the U.S. women’s Olympic soccer team. Since then, Blair discovered her passion for the performing arts. She will attend Texas State University with plans to major in musical theater. Blair would tell herself to never give up if someone says you aren’t good enough.

19. Holt Madden – Memorial Drive Elementary School, Spring Branch Middle School, Memorial High School
Though Holt wanted to be a firefighter when he was younger, his life goals have changed. He has decided to pursue a major in human organizational development while attending Vanderbilt University. He would encourage his kindergarten self to learn to like reading.

20. Paige Suvalsky – Bunker Hill Elementary School, The Briarwood School
“It’s ok to make mistakes,” Paige would tell her kindergarten self. “Just remember to learn from them!” Paige, who originally wanted to be an actress when she was a kid, will attend the University of Arizona in the fall, intending to major in real estate.

21. Katelyn Wallace – Memorial Drive Elementary School, The Kinkaid School, Memorial High School
The Memorial senior who originally wanted to become a princess has decided to instead pursue agricultural communications and journalism at Texas A&M University. Katelyn wishes she could say to her kindergarten self: “Don’t ever forget that you are loved more than you will ever know, by someone who died to know you.” (Romans 5:8).

22. David Bartell – Rummel Creek Elementary School, St. Francis Episcopal Day School, Stratford High School
Like lots of Texas kids, David was obsessed with football. He wanted to be a football coach or player. At the University of Oklahoma, David hopes to major in some type of business. He would tell his kindergarten self to enjoy the little things in life.

23. Cooper Deal – The Kinkaid School
Cooper, whose career goal in kindergarten was to be well-off, is still on track to achieve his dream. The Kinkaid senior plans to study business at the University of Georgia in the fall. His advice to his kindergarten self would be to remember to share his toys with others.

24. Sierra Gaw – Hunters Creek Elementary School, Spring Branch Middle School, Memorial High School
Inspired by the fantastic teachers she had in school, Sierra also wanted to be a teacher when she was younger. However, her passions have changed since kindergarten, as she intends to major in business at Wake Forest University. She would advise her kindergarten self not to take nap time for granted.

Xavier Marshall, Blair Baldwin, Holt Madden, Paige Suvalsky, Katelyn Wallace, David Bartell, Cooper Deal, Sierra Gaw, Jacqueline Simmons, Caspar Flinder, Thomas Elrod, Kendrick Morris, Sam Schwager, Mary Kate Goss25. Jacqueline Simmons – American International School of Florence in Italy, King’s School in Tynemouth, England, St. Francis Episcopal Day School, St. John’s School
Entranced by the cultures surrounding her, Jacqueline wanted to be a puppeteer when she was growing up. She would advise her younger self to keep doing things she loves, but not to be afraid to change interests. Jacqueline has taken her own advice. She will pursue a major in engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

26. Caspar Flinder – Grindbakken in Norway, Memorial Lutheran, Memorial High School
As a child, Caspar wanted to be either a fireman or a chef. Caspar will join the Norwegian Military for officer training following graduation. Caspar’s advice to his kindergarten self? Do everything with a smile, no matter what the task.

27. Thomas Elrod – Webber Academy in Calgary, Canada, The Village School, Mont’ Kiara International School in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, The Village School
After watching Top Gun and Apollo 13, Thomas wanted to be a F-14 pilot and an astronaut. Today, he is undecided about what he wants to pursue in college, but he will begin his journey at The University of Texas at Austin in the fall. Thomas’ advice to his kindergarten self would be to take every opportunity to be happy, and not to let fear hold you back.

28. Kendrick Morris – Second Baptist School, Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire
As a kid, Kendrick loved basketball, wanting to one day become a professional basketball player. He has decided to attend Claremont McKenna College to pursue a major in financial economics. He would tell his kindergarten self to learn how to play a musical instrument.

29. Sam Schwager – The Kinkaid School
“Dream big, but live in the present,” Sam would tell his kindergarten self. Even when he was younger, Sam wanted to be the owner of his own company. He has continued to be highly motivated. In the fall, he will study engineering at Stanford University.

30. Mary Kate Goss – Wilchester Elementary School, Memorial Middle School, Stratford High School
Though Mary will begin her major in theater at Northwestern University in the fall, she says her early career goals were vastly different from her passions today. She wanted to be a pediatrician or some other type of doctor. Mary would still offer her younger self this advice: Always take advantage of nap time.

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