Class of 2015
Where are they headed?
Brand-new high school graduates are preparing to set out, going on adventures, getting jobs and heading for college.
We asked graduating neighbors about their plans. What do they hope for the future? What advice would they give their kindergarten selves if they could?
To find out where more local 2015 graduates are going to college and what they will study, check out – and contribute to, if you haven’t yet – our annual database of college-bound Buzz-area seniors.
Brooke Kaplan – The Shlenker School, The Emery/Weiner School
Brooke would tell her kindergarten self to never wish she was older, and to savor every moment. She will begin her college career at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where she will study journalism. Brooke said she is most excited to meet people from around the country and world during her time in college and to make every second in college matter.
Arjun Das – School of the Woods, Trafton Academy, Bellaire High School
Arjun says he would tell his kindergarten self to be the person he wants to be and not to let anyone tell him otherwise. While at The University of Texas at Austin for college, Arjun not only wants to major in math and economics, but he also wants to win a basketball tournament. He said his Bellaire recreation team lost in the first playoff game to a buzzer beater shot. “The only way to make up for that loss is to win another tournament and replace that horrible feeling with one of pure awesomeness,” he said.
Karoline Hight – Condit Elementary School, Pershing Middle School, Bellaire High School
Karoline would remind her kindergarten self to enjoy life and spend time outside enjoying God’s creation. In the fall, Karoline will head to Texas A&M University to study engineering. In college, she said she hopes she will meet new, exciting friends that she will call years after graduating.
Brett Kleiman – Robert M. Beren Academy
If he had the opportunity, Brett would remind his kindergarten self to have fun, never give up, and believe in himself. Brett will move to Atlanta to study political science at Emory University. He says he hopes to get involved in student government and other unique organizations on campus.
Jared Lehmann – Condit Elementary School, Pin Oak Middle School, Carnegie Vanguard High School
Jared would tell his younger self to have fun and not to grow up too quickly. At California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., Jared wants to pursue a major in aerospace engineering. While in college, he plans to follow his own advice, hoping that one day, he and his friends will skip class, spend the day at the beach and on the way back, stick a piece of gum on the wall of the locally famous bubblegum alley downtown.
Meghan Parsons – Northfield Elementary School, Presbyterian School, Bellaire High School
After thinking about her time in school so far, Meghan would tell her kindergarten self to surround herself with people who make her the best version of herself. “Above all, never be afraid,” she said. As Meghan prepares to move to Maine to study political science at Bowdoin College in Maine, she plans to take her own advice to heart and be fearless. She wants to study abroad in Europe and qualify for the NCAAs with her swim team in college.
Holden Rosenthal – The Shlenker School, The Emery/Weiner School
Holden would tell his kindergarten self to absorb as much information as he possibly can. As a pre-law student at Indiana University in Bloomington, he said he will use his own advice to be the best possible lawyer he can. While in college, Holden says he knows he wants to be a part of Greek life.
Mackenzie Kleinman – Beth Yeshurun Day School, Trafton Academy, The Emery/Weiner School
Experience has taught Mackenzie that it is important to try everything she possibly can and do what she loves. In the fall, she will start her career at the University of Missouri in Columbia with plans to major in journalism. While there, Mackenzie said she is most excited to meet new people and cheer on the Mizzou Tigers at football games.
Jacob Ehrenstrom – Little Red School House, St. Catherine’s Montessori, Trafton Academy, Houston Christian High School
Jacob would tell his kindergarten self to do what he loves and speak his mind. “Life is what you make it, so make it memorable,” he would say. In a few months, Jacob will begin his time at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado with hopes to pursue a degree in systems engineering. While at school, he wants to get involved with the Air Force Triathlon Club and participate in cadet leadership.
Mackenzie Ward – Horn Elementary School, Pershing Middle School, Bellaire High School
Mackenzie would advise her kindergarten self to refuse to wear her brother’s hand-me-down clothes, even when her mom thought they fit well. She’ll be heading to Emory University’s pre-med program and plans to continue playing for the school’s soccer team.
Madeleine Bergoon – Travis Elementary School, Lanier Middle School, Bellaire High School
Madeleine would share a piece of advice she learned last year: to wait 24 hours before reacting to something frustrating, because if it is not bothersome after that time, it is not worth the fight. Additionally, she would tell herself not to take mean things people say to heart and not to pay attention to unnecessary middle-school gossip. As she prepares to attend American University in Washington, D.C., and major in international studies, she hopes to attend the Presidential Inauguration in two years and to receive an internship at the White House.
Sophie Belton – St. Thomas More, St. Agnes Academy
Sophie wanted to be an astronaut or the president of the United States when she was younger. She would tell her kindergarten self to take risks, speak up, and have fun. Now she is off to study mechanical engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and hopes to get a certificate in business and public policy. During college, she’d love to intern for a senator at the Texas State Capitol.
Ross Ackerman – The Parish School, The Briarwood School
Ross will start the next chapter of his life at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, to pursue a degree in geosciences. Ross would tell his kindergarten self that life is all about experiences and that he should take every opportunity presented to him, even if he thinks he will fail. As he prepares to start college, Ross will use this advice himself and try rowing crew, something his aunt participated in during her collegiate years. “Not only is it the epitome of New England lifestyle, but it also seems like a very adrenaline pumping and unique sport unlike anything here in Houston,” he said.
Amberlea Tribble – River Oaks Baptist, Alexander-Smith Academy
Amberlea would assure her kindergarten self that waking up at six in the morning on Saturdays for horse shows eventually pays off. Additionally, she would tell her past self that hard work pays off in the end – and it certainly did. In the fall, Amberlea will begin her career at The University of Texas at Austin, joining the business honors program. She hopes she discovers new interests and makes friends for life.
Joe, Jenny and David Fox – Rummel Creek Elementary, Memorial Middle School, Stratford High School
Triplets Joe, Jenny and David Fox have been together since birth and are heading three different ways in the fall – Joe to study engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, Jenny to study accounting at Baylor University, and David to study mechanical engineering at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Joe would advise his kindergarten self not to do his homework at school and to develop the habit of getting it done at home, instead. In college, he hopes to gather a group of friends he’ll stay in touch with for the rest of his life. Jenny would tell her kindergarten self to be confident and “you don’t have to be the best nap taker of the class, but you will find special talents of your own.” She’s looking forward to cheering on the Bears in McLane Stadium. David also brings up kindergarten naptime and he would tell his kindergarten self to actually sleep during this time. He hopes to attend at least one football game in college.
Brian Lake – Memorial Drive Elementary School, Spring Branch Middle School, Memorial High School
Brian would tell his kindergarten self a life-altering piece of advice: Girls do not have cooties. As he prepares to attend Baylor University in Waco to study mechanical engineering, he says he still wants to have fun in college. Brian wants to attend all sports events and said while in college, he hopes to storm the court or field after a big win.
Abby Mueller – Hunters Creek Elementary School, Spring Branch Middle School, Memorial High School
Unlike Brian, Abby would confirm her kindergarten self’s suspicions that boys have cooties. Abby will travel to North Carolina to attend The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. However, as an international business major, Abby said she hopes the traveling does not end here. She said she is most excited to attend the Duke vs. UNC basketball game and watch her school beat the national champions.
Blake Berry – St. Mark Lutheran, Spring Branch Middle School, Memorial High School
After years of experience, Blake would remind his younger self to stay focused and not to worry about bad test scores or a bad game. As he prepares to attend The University of Texas at Austin and major in biology or biomedical sciences, he says he wants to try new things in college, particularly playing sports he did not get the chance to participate in during high school while playing basketball. He said he particularly wants to try ultimate Frisbee, flag football, soccer, golf and rock climbing.
Zishuai Wang – No. 81 Elementary in Shijiazhuang, China, No. 40 Middle School in Shijiazhuang, China, Alexander-Smith Academy
When he thinks about his time in China, Zishuai wishes there was more meat in lunch and dinner when he was growing up. The extra protein would allow him to accomplish one of his aspirations in college: to compete in a professional bodybuilding contest. Zishuai will be majoring in kinesiology at The University of Texas at San Antonio.
Nicholas Moriarty – Ascension Episcopal School, Holy Spirit Episcopal School, The Briarwood School
Nicholas would advise his kindergarten self to keep on digging in the dirt and playing in the water, even though it is the opposite of what his parents and teachers tell him. This passion for being outside and exploring nature has developed into Nicholas’ desire to pursue a major in geology when he starts school at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches in the fall. He is the 10th person in his family to attend the school, and he said he is excited to finally participate in the school’s many traditions. While in college, Nicholas hopes to take advantage of field camps and trips around the United States to gain hands-on learning experience in geology.
Morgan Jones – Askew Elementary School, The Monarch School, The Briarwood School
“Whenever you get the chance, run long distances at Terry Hershey Park, with your parents, of course,” Morgan would tell his kindergarten self. “Trust me, it’s a satisfying future.” As Morgan prepares to attend Trinity University in San Antonio, he wants to join a club with a focus on public speaking so he can improve his people skills.
Sarah Kate Thomas – St. John’s Episcopal School, All Saints’ Episcopal School, Memorial Middle School, Memorial High School
Sarah Kate would encourage her kindergarten self to work hard and enjoy the little moments. As she prepares to attend Wake Forest University in North Carolina in the fall to major in finance and business, she will take her own advice. Sarah Kate said she is looking forward to rolling toilet paper down the quad at Wake Forest, a long-standing tradition of the university that students do when something exciting happens on campus.
Reed Fredricks – Hunters Creek Elementary School, First Baptist Academy, Houston Christian High School
Reed would remind his younger self that it is important to work hard and do well in school, but having fun and never giving up on your dreams are equally important. Reed will follow his own advice during college, studying business and real estate at The University of Texas at San Antonio and hoping to continue his baseball career by playing in college for the UTSA team.
Graham Doll – Frostwood Elementary School, Memorial Middle School, Holy Spirit Episcopal School, Houston Christian High School
“Be a leader, not a follower,” Graham said he would tell his kindergarten self. He said he would also say that being a good leader would make him successful. As he prepares to study business at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Graham is still focused on being leader, hoping to partake in the Chancellor’s Leadership Program and various sports on campus.
Teresa Haney – Duchesne Academy of The Sacred Heart
Teresa would break the unfortunate news to her kindergarten self that bowl cuts will not make a comeback, so she should grow out her hair. Teresa has grown up significantly since these early days and will begin her career at the University of Dallas as an economics student in a few months. While there, she said she plans to take advantage of the study-abroad program, hoping to go to Rome and Spain.
Forrest Harrell – Yeager Elementary School, Bleyl Middle School, Houston Christian High School
When asked what advice he would give his kindergarten self, Forrest said he would say, “Focus more on the grades and less on the babes.” He said when he was younger, he may have focused too much on girls and not enough on grades and he has realized there is a time to hone in on his dating skills. While he is in school at the University of Tulsa studying exercise science, he said he wants to become a leader on campus. Additionally, he said he hopes to play in a bowl game or score a game-winning touchdown as a new member of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane football team.
Jack Goss – Wilchester Elementary School, Memorial Middle School, Stratford High School
Jack would tell his kindergarten self: “You’re gonna get picked last a lot on the playground, so get used to it, kiddo.” Life seemed to turn out fine for him, though, as he’s looking forward to starting at University of Notre Dame in Indiana and studying economics in the fall. He hopes to work as a manager or stat-keeper for one of his college sports teams.
Mark Cox – Roberts Elementary School, Lanier Middle School, Lamar High School
Experience has taught Mark that while in kindergarten, he should have taken advantage of naptime. In a few months, Mark will start his college career at Texas A&M University in College Station with plans to major in biology. He said he is most excited to attend Aggie football games and yell in support of the team in the student section.
Jill Caress – Roberts Elementary School, Pershing Middle School, Lamar High School
Jill would advise her kindergarten self never to steal people’s toys and to have fun as a kid. As she prepares to move to College Station to start school at Texas A&M University as part of the Blinn TEAM program, she said she hopes she makes friends with people in her building. Additionally, she will take her own advice to have fun in college while also getting a good education.
Morgan Dickson – Annunciation Orthodox School, St. Agnes Academy
Morgan, who wanted to be a ballerina dancer when she was younger, would tell her kindergarten self to do everything with a smile. In the fall, she will be attending Texas A&M University (“Gig ’em!” she said) to study communications. While at school, she’s most excited to meet new people and cheer on the Aggies at football games. Sounds like she’ll be smiling often.
Caroline Mitchell – Grace Elementary School, Grace Middle School, Houston Christian High School
Caroline would tell her kindergarten self not to worry about the inevitable awkward phases of life and that things will get better as she gets older. She will start college at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge with plans to major in kinesiology. Caroline hopes to get involved in Greek life when she rushes in the fall and attend as many sporting events as possible.
Julie Baker – St. Francis Episcopal Day School, Houston Christian High School
As an elementary education major at Baylor University, Julie’s advice to her kindergarten self would be dance a lot and learn fractions. While she’s in college, Julie wants to attend as many football games as possible and cannot wait to run and be a part of the Baylor Line.
Jacob Padden – Roberts Elementary School, Lanier Middle School, Lamar High School
Jacob would tell his kindergarten self to cherish childhood and enjoy every minute of it. He’s looking forward to enjoying every moment at Georgia Institute of Technology when he starts in the fall and plans to study industrial engineering. He’s most excited to watch the Yellow Jackets beat the Bulldogs in football.
Adam Kobs – First Baptist Academy, Houston Christian High School
After experiencing the lack of sleep during high school, Adam would encourage his kindergarten self to enjoy naptime while he can. As he prepares to attend Baylor University as a film and digital media major, Adam said he hopes he makes friends not just for the next four years, but for life.
Sara White – River Oaks Baptist School, Second Baptist School
“Don’t put the rocks in your pockets,” Sara would tell her kindergarten self. “The rocks will still be there tomorrow during recess.” Since those early days on the playground, Sara has decided to attend the University of Mississippi and study communications. When she starts school, she said she is most excited to give back to the community and make lifelong friends in Greek life.
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