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Class of 2018

Where are they headed?

Jordan Magaziner Steinfeld
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Once again, as part of our annual tradition, we asked our graduating neighbors to share their college plans with us. What are they most looking forward to in the next chapter of their lives? What advice would they give their kindergarten selves if they could? And, taking a look back at the last four years, what was a favorite high school moment?

Also, check out – and contribute to, if you haven’t yet – our annual database of college-bound Buzz seniors. Also, read about some of the teachers that inspired these graduates along the way. 

Megan Hafer

Megan Hafer – Texas A&M University

Megan Hafer – Condit Elementary School/School of the Woods, School of the Woods, Bellaire High School

Megan Hafer is headed to Texas A&M University to study marketing in Mays Business School. She has dreamed of going to A&M since she was in elementary school. “My family claims I bleed maroon,” she says. She’s most looking forward to meeting new people and living in College Station and being part of A&M’s traditions. Her dream job would be to work within the beauty industry, as she’s passionate about makeup. If she could, she’d advise her kindergarten self: “Always stay true to yourself.” Her favorite part of high school has been dancing with the Bellaire Belles.

Molly Anapolsky

Molly Anapolsky – Tulane University (Senior photo: Tanya Radoff Photography)

Molly Anapolsky – Mark Twain Elementary School/Potomac Elementary School, Hoover Middle School, Bellaire High School

Molly Anapolsky is headed to Tulane University to study neuroscience. She’s looking forward to making new friends from all over the world. Her dream job is to become a neurologist. She’d like to spend time providing medical services to those who would not otherwise receive them. Her favorite high school moment was when she became an officer on the dance team, which she called “extremely rewarding,” and she learned a lot about time management, leadership and organization.

Jared Edelman

Jared Edelman – Tulane University (Senior photo: Mark Edelman)

Jared Edelman – Condit Elementary School, The Kinkaid School

Jared Edelman says his favorite moment from high school was receiving his acceptance letter from Tulane University, where he will study business management. He’s most excited for the chance to challenge himself during college. “Studying at a university like Tulane will allow me to grow as a student and develop the skills of a true professional,” he says. “I’m thrilled for the memories that lie ahead.” His dream job would be to become CEO of an international real estate corporation. If he could, he’d tell his younger self to have fun.

Nicki Miller

Nicki Miller – The University of Texas at Austin (Senior photo: Howard Miller)

Nicki Miller – Beth Yeshurun Day School, The Emery/Weiner School

Nicki Miller is heading to The University of Texas at Austin to study communications (public relations). She’s excited for independence and is looking forward to studying a subject that she’s passionate about in college. Her dream job would be a news anchor/broadcast journalist. Nicki’s favorite high school moment is when, on the first day of her senior year, her class came to school wearing their senior shirts and stood in front of the whole school, which was “really emotional and exciting,” she says. If she could, she’d tell her younger self to enjoy each moment. “Each grade has something special to offer!” she’d say.

Tomás Amelio

Tomás Amelio – University of Arkansas (Senior photo: Nikky Lawell)

Tomás Amelio – Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School, St. Thomas High School

Tomás Amelio is off to University of Arkansas to study history. He’s looking forward to all facets of the college experience, including making new friends, Greek life, exploring academic interests and experiencing four seasons. His dream job? Luchador [Mexican pro wrestler]. He clarifies: “You said dream, not practical.” His most memorable high school moment was when he broke his ankle during junior retreat. “I learned I could persevere under adverse situations,” he said. “[I] had to be on crutches for six weeks, and my classes were upstairs.”

Emily Ligon

Emily Ligon – University of Georgia (Senior photo: Robin Davis)

Emily Ligon – First Baptist Academy, Houston Christian High School

Emily Ligon is headed to University of Georgia to study marketing and is most looking forward to finding new opportunities. “College is the perfect chance for me to experience new adventures, meet new people, and discover new parts of myself I didn't even know were there!” she says. She’d love to work as a press secretary for a member of Congress, or she thinks she’d enjoy being a broadcast journalist for a national station. Her favorite high school moment was being appointed the editor of the yearbook as a junior – no junior had ever been yearbook editor, so it was a special honor. If she could, she’d tell her younger self: “Learn from the past, but don't live in it; plan for the future, but don't dwell on it; live for the here and now because life is short.”

Jared Jong

Jared Jong – The University of Texas at Austin

Jared Jong – Horn Elementary School, Lanier Middle School, Bellaire High School

Jared Jong is off to The University of Texas at Austin to study economics. He’s most excited to be going to his “dream college” and to meet new people, have freedom and to challenge himself academically. If he could, he’d remind his younger self to have fun being a kid. “Make a lot of friends,” he’d say. “Spend time with family and enjoy the time you have.”

Lindsey Ho

Lindsey Ho – Case Western Reserve University

Lindsey Ho – T.H. Rogers School, St. John’s School

Lindsey Ho is heading to Case Western Reserve University where she will major in civil engineering and minor in dance. She’s most looking forward to meeting new people and starting a new adventure in a new environment. She dreams of being a civil engineer “working in a fabulous firm designing skyscrapers” one day. Her favorite high school memory is dancing with all her best friends surrounded by dinosaur exhibits at Senior Cotillion. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Don't stress about the future because you will end up where you are meant to be.”

Trevor Schneider

Trevor Schneider – College of William & Mary (Senior photo: Laura Mansur)

Trevor Schneider – St. Vincent de Paul, Annunciation Orthodox School, Strake Jesuit College Preparatory

Trevor Schneider is heading to the College of William & Mary to study government, and he’s excited to learn more about himself through the freedom that college brings. “The structured nature of high school has its perks, but can also lead to a somewhat boring, homogeneous group of teenagers. In college, I intend to pursue every whim and opportunity, regardless of how weird or uncomfortable it may be, to become more familiar with what truly matters to me,” he says. “If I end up becoming a hipster, so be it.” His dream job would be White House press secretary. He says his favorite moment in high school is when a communication mix-up on the morning news show at school led to his friend accidentally cancelling school for the day.

Jillian Greenberg

Jillian Greenberg – Trinity University (Senior photo: Dan O'Keefe, Natural Expressions)

Jillian Greenberg – The Shlenker School, The Emery/Weiner School

Jillian Greenberg is off to Trinity University to study political science and is most excited to be part of Trinity’s nationally ranked tennis team. Her dream job would be to become a judge or lawyer one day. Her favorite memory from high school is walking around Times Square in NYC with her junior class. If she could, she’d tell her younger self: “Continue to enjoy what you do and have fun!”

Isabel Siahatgar

Isabel Siahatgar – The University of Texas at Austin

Isabel Siahatgar – Condit Elementary School, Trafton Academy, Bellaire High School 

Isabel Siahatgar is off to The University of Texas at Austin to study geological sciences. She dreams of either working in nature or traveling around the world for a living, and says her major will make it possible for either of these dreams to become reality. She’s most looking forward to all the freedom she’ll get in college and the opportunity to learn more about herself. Her favorite high school experience was her senior trip to Jamaica with her dance team. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self to be more confident.

Jian Liang

Jian Liang – Rice University (Senior photo: Miranda Graves)

Jian Liang – Saint Thomas' Episcopal School

Jian Liang is heading to Rice University. Her major is undecided, but she’s looking forward to attending a school with unique traditions and a close-knit community. “I'm excited to be able to study in such an amazing school and to be assigned to one of their 11 residential colleges. It's kind of like Hogwarts, but not really,” she says. If she could, she’d advise her kindergarten self to find what you love even if it means trying everything. “Be a risk taker and don't sit confined in that teeny tiny academics box!” Her favorite high school moments are the early morning runs with the cross country team and the late nights with the yearbook staff.

Abby Cohan

Abby Cohan – American University (Senior photo: Paperhearts, Jessica Laviage)

Abby Cohan – Presbyterian School, The Emery/Weiner School

Abby Cohan is off to American University to study business. “I am most looking forward to meeting new people, exploring all the neat places and historical monuments that DC has to offer and taking interesting classes,” she says. If she could, she’d remind her younger self to follow her instincts and dreams.

Spencer Dearborn

Spencer Dearborn – The University of Chicago (Senior photo: Amanda Dearborn)

Spencer Dearborn – West University Elementary School, Presbyterian School, Episcopal High School

Spencer Dearborn is heading to The University of Chicago to study economics. He’s most looking forward to those college late nights studying. If he could chat with his younger self, he’d say: “Handwriting practice is just the man trying to keep you down.” His dream job? “Stay-at-home dad, but without kids.” And his favorite moment from high school? “That time I didn’t fail sophomore English.” 

Isabella Altman

Isabella Altman – College of the Holy Cross (Senior photo: William Altman)

Isabella Altman – River Oaks Elementary, Pin Oak Middle School, Incarnate Word Academy

Isabella Altman is heading to College of the Holy Cross to study psychology and is looking forward to “developing inseparable friendships, creating memorable moments, exploring the beautiful city of Worcester, Mass., and creating enriching relationships with my professors,” she says. She’s particularly excited to enjoy school spirit in football games and events. Her dream job would be to be the head of human resources at a large company. Isabella’s favorite moment from high school was eating and laughing with friends at the school’s annual Thanksgiving luncheon this year. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Don’t care about what others think of you and don’t compare yourself. You are who you are, and who you are is truly beautiful.”

Nathan Lederman

Nathan Lederman – Boston University (Senior photo: Ira Rozen)

Nathan Lederman – Beth Yeshurun Day School, The Emery/Weiner School

Nathan Lederman is off to study journalism and film at Boston University and is looking forward to exploring Boston. He’s hoping to have a career that blends his passion for film and journalism. One of his favorite high school moments was opening night for his Senior Directed Project. Over a semester, he adapted, cast and put on a stage adaption of one of his favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone and says it was incredible to see the hard work pay off. If he could, he’d tell his kindergarten self to enjoy every day. “Relish every moment. Don’t live in the future,” he’d tell himself.

Sophia Wayne

Sophia Wayne – Washington University in St. Louis (Senior photo: Mark Katz Photography)

Sophia Wayne – Mark Twain, Pershing Middle School, Episcopal High School

Sophia Wayne is headed to Washington University in St. Louis. She’s undecided on her major but is most looking forward to the independence she’ll gain during this time of her life. Her favorite part of high school: “Coming to Episcopal knowing hardly anyone and making friends that I will have forever,” she says. If she could, she’d remind her younger self to enjoy everything and have fun because time goes by quickly.

Jordan Barger

Jordan Barger – University of California, Los Angeles (Senior photo: Alisha Zavadil)

Jordan Barger – Incarnate Word Academy, The Post Oak School, Post Oak High School

Jordan Barger is heading to University of California, Los Angeles to study film and television. She’s wanted to live in L.A. since she was 7 and is looking forward to making the move. “I also am really excited to take the next step towards my dream of being in the film industry,” she says. She dreams of being a screenwriter, director and editor of films one day. She says her favorite high school experience was a life-changing trip to Nicaragua during her sophomore year. “If I could give my kindergarten self one piece of advice (not that my kindergarten self would listen) it would be to not stress over everything,” she says. “You'll end up where you need to be ... life is about the journey, not the destination.”

Jack McInnis

Jack McInnis – University of Mississippi (Senior photo: Amanda Key Photography)

Jack McInnis – Presbyterian School, Strake Jesuit

Jack McInnis is off to University of Mississippi to study accounting and is most looking forward to tailgating in The Grove. His dream job would be CEO of a Fortune 500 company. His favorite high school moment would be playing intramural soccer and basketball with friends, and winning two championships. If he could, he’d tell his kindergarten self: “Keep working hard and never give up.”

Brooks and Cadesman Brickley

Brooks and Cadesman Brickley – Texas A&M University and Oklahoma State University (Senior photo: Kirby Trapolino)

Brooks and Cadesman Brickley – Saint Thomas’ Episcopal, St. Thomas High School

This fall, Brooks Brickley (on right, in senior photo) is heading to Texas A&M University, and Cadesman Brickley (on left, in senior photo) is off to Oklahoma State University. Brooks will major in petroleum engineering, and his dream job would be “drilling for oil somewhere exotic – and hitting a gusher,” he says. Cadesman will study business administration and dreams of becoming a real estate developer one day. If he could, Brooks would tell his younger self: “Don't put yourself in a box but try a bunch of different things. And keep in touch with your friends even if you end up at different schools along the way.” Cadesman would advise his younger self: “Be true to yourself and nurture your strengths. Don't try to be something you're not because, while you might not fail, you won't reach your full potential. But don't be afraid to try new things and figure out what you're good at.” Cadesman is most looking forward to freedom and setting his own schedule during college. Brooks also says he’s most looking forward to sleeping in during college – “I’m not scheduling early morning classes,” he says.

Trinity Reilly

Trinity Reilly – University of Notre Dame (Senior photo: Brandy Stoez Photography)

Trinity Reilly – West University Elementary, Pin Oak Middle School, St. Agnes Academy

Next year, Trinity Reilly will head to high school in Italy with Rotary Youth Exchange and, after that, will join the class of 2023 at University of Notre Dame, where she’ll study philosophy and theology. She’s most looking forward to meeting new, lifelong friends during college. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Don’t be afraid of anything – even trying new foods!”

Jack Pokluda

Jack Pokluda – Samford University (Senior photo: Alvin Gee)

Jack Pokluda – St. Catherine's Montessori School, Presbyterian School, Second Baptist School

Jack Pokluda is off to Samford University to study business law. He’s looking forward to finding and developing his leadership abilities and discovering who he is through new life experiences. His dream job is to be a dad and impactful role model to his future children. If he could, he’d tell his younger self: “Nothing matters more than staying true to your values and your goals. At the end of the day, I want to look back and say that I am Jack Pokluda and no one else.” 

Camille Calabrese

Camille Calabrese – Tufts University (Senior phoot: Prestige Portraits)

Camille Calabrese – River Oaks Elementary, Lanier Middle School, Lamar High School

Camille Calabrese is heading to Tufts University. She hasn’t decided on a major but her dream job would be in publishing, with a focus on memoirs. “I love memoirs because they represent such a meaningful exchange. Without ever meeting somebody you can gain a profound admiration for them by reading about their experiences and how they have grown over the course of their life,” she says. Her favorite high school moment was at the homecoming game during her junior year, when it was announced that Zach Smith, a Lamar student who has Down Syndrome, was homecoming king. “Never before had I seen so many people united wholeheartedly around such a positive message, and the moment his name was spoken by the announcer the entire audience erupted into thunderous applause and cheers. It was a very powerful to see such a dedicated, involved, and kind student being recognized by his teachers and peers,” she says. If she could, she’d tell herself that learning is more than the activities and studying done in the classroom, and to be sure to connect with and learn from friends.

John Saucer

John Saucer – The University of Alabama (Senior photo: Jennifer Oakley)

John Saucer – St. John’s School, Episcopal High School

John Saucer is heading to The University of Alabama to study business, and his dream job would be to become CEO of a company one day. He’s most looking forward to studying what he’s interested in and meeting new people at college. His favorite moment from high school is when he and his friends helped people in need after the hurricane. If he could, he’d tell his younger self: “Do not wish to be an adult. Cherish your childhood while it lasts.”

Grace Vincent

Grace Vincent – Rice University (Senior photo: Ling Wang Photography)

Grace Vincent – River Oaks Baptist School, St. John’s School

Grace Vincent will study English, visual and dramatic arts and psychology at Rice University. She’s been passionate about dance since elementary school and is looking forward to continuing dance and theater in college. Her dream job would be anything involving performing arts. Her favorite high school memory was “being in the Music Man senior year. I felt like my journey through fine arts had come full circle,” she says. If she could, she’d tell her younger self to find what she loves and stick with it.

Eligha Jones

Eligha Jones – Stephen F. Austin State University (Senior photo: Josie Jones)

Eligha Jones – The Rice School, Lamar High School

Eligha Jones is headed to Stephen F. Austin State University to study biology and ultimately become a veterinarian. His favorite Lamar memory is being on the drum line in the Lamar marching band. He’s most looking forward to being responsible for himself in college. If he could, he’d advise his kindergarten self to stay focused.

Tara Nored

Tara Nored – Tulane University (Senior photo: Michaela Beall)

Tara Nored – Woodridge Elementary School (San Antonio), Second Baptist School

Tara Nored is off to Tulane University to study English and is most looking forward to “the freedom to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. Also, undergraduate opportunities for research and internships, and exploring New Orleans!” she says. Her dream job would be teaching English or biology at a charter school, while also working for educational non-profit companies or freelance writing. Her favorite memory from high school? “Once, I went rock climbing with a close friend and my biology teacher, and then we got Chick-fil-A. I've had many more memories like this one, but overall, I will think that this moment shows how warm and kind my teachers have been. The relationships I've formed have been my favorite part of high school,” she says. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self not to worry about college ... until first grade.

Alexander Worley

Alexander Worley – Washington University in St. Louis

Alexander Worley – Second Baptist School

Alexander Worley will head to Washington University in St. Louis next year to study political science. He’s most looking forward to studying new things and meeting new people, and dreams of becoming an attorney one day. His favorite high school experience was traveling to Greece and Italy with his classmates to study the journeys of the Apostle Paul. If he could, he’d advise his kindergarten self to read something new every day.

Alexander (Quanming) Tao

Alexander (Quanming) Tao – University of Minnesota (Senior photo: Queena Tian)

Alexander (Quanming) Tao – Beijing Bacui Bilingual School, Beijing No. 80 High School, Alexander-Smith Academy

Alexander Tao is headed to the University of Minnesota to study physics. If he could, he’d tell his kindergarten self: “Believe in yourself and don’t let anyone judge you.” His dream job would be to become a physicist or a singer.

Luis Velasco Zapata

Luis Velasco Zapata – Loyola University Maryland (Senior photo: Kat Mack Photography)

Luis Velasco Zapata – American School of Doha, American School of the Hague, The Village School

Luis Velasco Zapata is heading to Loyola University Maryland to study biology. He hopes to become a doctor one day. He’s most looking forward to being independent and starting this next chapter in life. If he could, he’d tell his kindergarten self: “Don’t rush through school.”

Molly Erfert

Molly Erfert – Oklahoma State University (Senior photo: Jeremy Kennedy)

Molly Erfert – Homeschooled, Haddonfield Memorial Middle School (New Jersey), Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart

Molly Erfert is headed to Oklahoma State University to study business. She’s most looking forward to new friends and new experiences. Her favorite memory from high school is the sophomore year college trip. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Don’t take life too seriously.”

Charlotte Tomlinson

Charlotte Tomlinson – Texas Christian University (Senior photo: Cindy Crofford Photography)

Charlotte Tomlinson – Valley Oaks Elementary School, Spring Branch Middle School, Memorial High School

Charlotte is heading to Texas Christian University to study communications. Her dream job would be a creative director for a fashion label or magazine. She’s most looking forward to trying new things and meeting new people in college. She’s excited to live on her own and create new memories. If she could, she’d advise her younger self to take advantage of nap time – “I wish I still had nap time in high school!”

Preston, Hannah and Peyton Price

Preston, Hannah and Peyton Price – Baylor University (Senior photo: Frost Images)

Hannah, Preston and Peyton Price – Second Baptist School 

Triplets Hannah, Preston (on left, in senior photo) and Peyton Price are all headed to Baylor University together in the fall. Hannah will study nursing, and both Preston and Peyton will study finance. Hannah dreams of being a nurse anesthetist and is looking forward to a new environment. She’s also excited to spend the next four years in Waco with her brothers. Preston dreams of becoming a financial advisor, and is most looking forward to meeting new, lifelong friends in college. Peyton’s favorite high school moment was during a football game when he was the placeholder and the kicker, Liam, kicked a 51-yard field goal, after which the team went crazy celebrating, “a moment he’ll never forget.” Preston’s favorite high school moment was his senior prank – “they are still trying to figure out who did it.” If she could, Hannah would tell her kindergarten self: “Make every day count. Although it may seem like an eternity away, you will grow up and you will one day look back in these good old days. Also, never forget to thank your parents. They are constantly working and serving on your behalf so never ever take them for granted.”

Abby Haralson

Abby Haralson – Chapman University (Senior photo: Canterbury Photography - Kristine Canterbury)

Abby Haralson – Rummel Creek Elementary School, Memorial Middle School, Stratford High School

Abby Haralson is heading to Chapman University to study screen acting and theater performance, and her dream job is to be hired as a cast member and writer for Saturday Night Live. “I want to follow in the footsteps of the comedic greats like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph,” she says. She’s most looking forward to meeting new people in college, learning from talented professors and having Disneyland just 15 minutes away from her dorm. If she could, she’d advise her kindergarten self: “Leave the hair cutting to the professionals!”

Madeline DeJong

Madeline DeJong – New York University (Senior photo: Ling Wang)

Madeline DeJong – Second Baptist School 

Madeline DeJong is off to New York University to study fashion design and entrepreneurship. Her dream job is to run her own fashion design company that gives back to the community in some way. She’s most looking forward to playing on the volleyball team at NYU and joining a close group of girls on the team. Her favorite moment from high school is when her club volleyball team won a national championship last summer. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self not to worry about what others think – “be yourself and enjoy life!”

Ellie Rotan

Ellie Rotan – University of Mississippi (Senior photo: Margaret Rotan Photography)

Ellie Rotan – Hunters Creek Elementary School, Spring Branch Middle School, Memorial High School

Ellie Rotan is headed to University of Mississippi and will major in general studies. She’s most looking forward to joining Greek life at “Ole Miss” and making new friends. Her dream job would be “one at which I can learn and grow while working with great people and making good money,” she says. Her favorite memory from high school was the Young Life Wilderness Trip. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Have even more fun!”

Garrett Logan

Garrett Logan – University of St Andrews (Senior photo: Tanya Sloan – French Blue Photography)

Garrett Logan – Memorial Drive Elementary, Second Baptist School

Garrett is heading to University of St Andrews to study international relations and Russian. He’s most looking forward to spending his four years in Scotland. He dreams of becoming U.S. ambassador to Russia and working in Moscow one day. If he could, he’d advise his kindergarten self to learn as many languages as possible while young.

Rachel Patronella

Rachel Patronella – University of Mississippi (Senior photo: Huyen Tran Photography)

Rachel Patronella – St. Michael Catholic School, Memorial Middle School, Stratford High School

Rachel Patronella is heading to University of Mississippi and will major in special education. She’s excited to learn more about her career choice, join a sorority and attend Ole Miss football games and be in The Grove. Her dream job would be an occupational therapist working with special-needs children. Her favorite high school moment was performing in the 2017 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with the Stratford High School Spartanaire Dance Team. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self to study and work hard. “Even though you think it really doesn't matter now, it will help you in the long run,” she’d say.

Christopher Song

Christopher Song – The University of Chicago

Christopher Song – Wilchester Elementary School, Memorial Middle School, Stratford High School

Christopher Song is heading to The University of Chicago to study neuroscience; he’d love to be a neurosurgeon one day. He’s looking forward to meeting new people and being in a place he’s not familiar with during college. His favorite high school moment would be “playing under the lights of Tully Stadium and beating the Memorial Mustangs,” he says. If he could, he’d advise his kindergarten self to utilize nap time more effectively.

Addakin Thomas

Addakin Thomas – Chatham University (Senior photo: Tracey Ivy Photography)

Addakin Thomas – Maplebrook Elementary School, Riverwood Middle School, Houston Christian High School

Addakin Thomas will head to Chatham University to study business administration. If he could, he’d tell his younger self to enjoy your primary school years while they last, and not to give up. He’s most looking forward to becoming independent and learning how to live on his own. “I am excited for whatever God has down the road for me. Right now, I really do not know what that is, but I love being around people, so something in the business world,” he says.

Clayton Bobo

Clayton Bobo – Texas A&M University (Senior photo: R. Scott Jackson Photography)

Clayton Bobo – Rummel Creek Elementary School, Memorial Middle School, Stratford High School

Clayton Bobo is heading to Texas A&M University to study finance in Mays Business School. “I am most looking forward to meeting new people, new experiences, making memories, and pursuing a degree and swimming for the university I love,” he says. His dream job would be to become a professional athlete. His favorite moment from high school was the “overwhelming support and well wishes I received when I committed to continue my academic and swimming career at Texas A&M University,” he says. If he could, he’d advise his kindergarten self to live in the moment.

James Moseley IV

James Moseley IV – Southern Methodist University

James Moseley IV – The Kinkaid School 

Jamie Moseley is heading to Southern Methodist University and will major in mechanical engineering. He’s most looking forward to the freedom to focus on pursuing studies in engineering and computer science, plus being more independent and making new friends. His dream job would be a SpaceX aerospace engineer. If he could, he’d tell his kindergarten self: Start learning a musical instrument NOW. His favorite high school moment was creating a short film called “Mol Man” with his friends for credit in honors chemistry.

Sophia Slawson-Villasmil

Sophia Slawson-Villasmil – University of Wisconsin – Madison

Sophia Slawson-Villasmil – Rummel Creek Elementary School, Memorial Middle School, Stratford High School

“I feel like I am ready to burst with the anticipation of absorbing the millions of things I am sure I don’t know yet,” says Sophia. “From meeting new people from different places to studying abroad, the future is one big blank canvas.” The next step starts at University of Wisconsin – Madison where she will study neuropsychology. Her dream job is to take on global educational work in mental health. “I want our generation to be the last generation that has to whisper and hide their diagnosis,” she says. She has many favorite moments from high school, but was most proud when she made it as social officer for the Spartainaire team. If she could, she’d remind her kindergarten self to be kind – to herself and to others.

Cole Johnson

Cole Johnson – Navarro College

Cole Johnson – The Briarwood School

Cole Johnson is off to Navarro College to study business. His dream job would be a musician; he’d love to perform on a stage in front of thousands of people and “making the whole world come together for one night, to spread love, peace and positivity.” His favorite high school moment was when he got the opportunity to let his voice be heard on stage. If he could, he’d tell his kindergarten self to always keep his standards high and love everyone around you, no matter what.

Emma Holland

Emma Holland – The University of Texas at Austin (Senior photo: Marlo Wise)

Emma Holland – Rummel Creek Elementary, Memorial Middle School, Stratford High School

Emma Holland is off to be a Longhorn this fall; she’ll join the business honors program at The University of Texas at Austin. She’s most looking forward to making new friends, getting involved around campus and exploring Austin. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Never be afraid to put yourself out there and try everything, even if you think you might fail. The experiences you gain will definitely outweigh any failure you face along the way.” Some of her favorite high school memories include co-chairing The Big Day event her junior year and traveling to NYC with Academy of Finance senior year.

Avery Agosto

Avery Agosto – University of California, Los Angeles (Senior photo: Huyen Tran)

Avery Agosto – Wilchester Elementary School, Memorial Middle School, Stratford High School

Avery Agosto is off to University of California, Los Angeles to study biochemistry. Her dream job would be a CIA operative. She’s most looking forward to meeting new people and living in a different state. Her favorite high school moment was the last Stratford vs. Memorial football game this season. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Grades always matter.”

Mackenzie McAnear

Mackenzie McAnear – Lone Star College (Photos: James McAnear)

Mackenzie McAnear – Birkes Elementary School, The Briarwood School

Mackenzie McAnear is off to Lone Star College and intends to pursue a career related to writing. She hopes to be an editor one day. Her favorite memory from high school is when she was accepted to the School Buzz program at The Buzz Magazines. “It makes my week when I see progress on an article, or better yet my or one of my fellow writers' articles published. I get so proud that I email and post a link to the article to everyone I know,” she said. If she could, she’d advise her kindergarten self: “Do not let yourself get pushed around! Also, don’t worry about the little things in life.”

Liuqian Tian

Liuqian (Queena) Tian – University of California, Davis (Senior photo: Weiyi Studio)

Liuqian (Queena) Tian – Shiyanyixiao, RDFC Chaoyang School, Alexander-Smith Academy

Queena Tian is headed to University of California, Davis to study communication. If she could chat with her kindergarten self, she’d advise her: “Keep your eyes away from books!” In college, she’s most looking forward to meeting friendly, open-minded students and teachers – and good food. 

Alex Liu

Alex Liu – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Senior photo: Xia Chen)

Alex Liu – The Village School

Alex Liu is off to Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study chemistry and is most looking forward to all the opportunities that college has to offer, including undergraduate research, challenging classes and a variety of clubs. His favorite memories of high school were the opportunities to meet so many people from the summer programs he was able to attend. If he could, he’d tell his younger self: “Don't let other people's opinions of yourself dictate who you choose to be.”

Lauren Herrera

Lauren Herrera – Texas Tech University (Senior photo: LeeAnn Nichols)

Lauren Herrera – Our Savior Lutheran, Lutheran High North

Lauren Herrera is off to Texas Tech University to study biochemistry. Her dream job is somewhere in the medical field, most likely a dermatologist. She’s most looking forward to being independent during college and learning more about herself. Her favorite moments from high school include all the time spent laughing with friends.

Chase Koch

Chase Koch - University of Oxford

Chase Koch – The British School

Chase Koch is off to the University of Oxford to study history and politics. He’s most looking forward to being able to study what he’s interested in, making new friends and living internationally. He has lots of great memories from high school and particularly enjoyed being involved in school theater doing tech/production; he said it was stressful at times, but always rewarding and fun.

Joseph McManners

Joseph McManners - Texas State University (Senior Photo: Life Touch Portraits)

Joseph McManners – St. Mark Lutheran School, Lutheran High North

Joseph McManners is heading to Texas State University to study athletic training. His dream job would be a trainer for professional athletes. He’s most looking forward to meeting new people in college. If he could, he’d tell his kindergarten self: “Never give up!” His favorite high school memory was prom.

Jordan Doughtie

Jordan Doughtie - University of Oklahoma (Senior photo: Marlo Wise)

Jordan Doughtie – Second Baptist School

Jordan Doughtie is heading to University of Oklahoma and will study pre-occupational therapy. Her dream job is to become a pediatric occupational therapist. She’s most looking forward to meeting new people and being able to be independent in college. “Every memory that I have of my friends and I all spending time together is a favorite moment. I can’t pick only one!” she says. If she could, she’d tell her kindergarten self: “Use nap time to your advantage!”

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