Oh the places they’ll go, and what they’ll do: Trades, sciences, politics, medicine, animal health and college hoops are just a few of the directions 2019 grads will take

By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor

Within a week, AAPS will have issued diplomas to about 1,360 seniors from our five high schools.

These seniors are getting ready to move on to their next phase of life—whether that’s a four-year college, community college, technical training or a gap year between high school and college.

Take a look at a few of our graduates and their post-graduation plans:

Huron senior Richarra Roach hopes to become a veterinarian after attending Tennessee State University.

“I’m going to study biology at Tennessee State University mostly because of the weather, and also because I had my heart set on a going to an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities).”


Deandre Franklin (Pathways) will attend Washtenaw Community College and Grambling State University in Louisiana.


Deandre says: “I’m going to get a summer job and go to Washtenaw Community College for two years until I move to Louisiana to do two more years at Grambling State University. I don’t know what I want to do for a living, but something in college may spark.”

Imani Peterkin (Huron) will attend Eastern Michigan University in the fall.

Imani says: “I chose Eastern because I want to graduate with no debt, and they pay for the last two years of college if you go all four years.”    



Allison Ringold (Pioneer) will attend the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.

Allison says: “I’m going to the College of Wooster because they’re the Number One mentored undergraduate research program in the country, tied with Princeton. As a career, I plan to potentially go into something in the sciences dealing with mental health and research. I’m planning on majoring in biochemistry while using their mentored undergraduate research program.”


Skyline senior Brian Scurlock plans to attend Concordia University, where he’ll also play football.

Brian says: “I chose Concordia because they have what I like academics-wise. I’m trying to be in the medical field/sports field.  And it’s pretty close to home so I wouldn’t have to stay in a dorm.”

His advice to underclassmen? “Get everything done early, especially FASA.”

Skyline senior Sophia Ernst will attend the University of Michigan to study political science and communication.

Sophia says: “I was super excited to hear that I got in. I’ve always wanted to go there. It’s a really good school for what I want to study … I was looking around D.C.—George Washington or the University of Maryland, but because I wanted to study both political science and communication, I felt Michigan was the best fit … I think it’ll be familiar because I’ve kind of grown up around campus, but being a student there and being independent obviously will feel like a big change.”


Anthony Girma (Pathways) will study a trade at  Washtenaw Community College.                                                                             

Says Anthony: “I feel good about it. I want to be an electrician or maybe go into construction.”




Sidney Yallop, a senior at Skyline High school, will attend Grand Valley State University to study something in the medical field.

Says Sidney: “I was originally really set on going to the University of Western Ontario. But I visited all the schools I was considering and found that Grand Valley best met my idea of a college experience. I knew I wanted to be close (to home), but didn’t want to be too close … I’m so glad the waiting game is over.”


Pathways senior Aarin Burt will attend Washtenaw Community College on an  Ann Arbor Rotary STRIVE scholarship.

Says Aarin: I’m going for my business degree. I already have my own business and now I want to learn how to market it.”


Drew Lowder (Pioneer) will attend  College of the Holy Cross in Worchester, Massachusetts, where he’s received a scholarship to play basketball.

Says Drew: “They don’t let you pick a major til your second year which I feel is good. A lot of students change majors. They don’t know what they want to do. They think they do. So after general studies, I think I’ll probably figure it out. I’m really interested in sports marketing and communications.”




Last month, Michael Pelosi (Skyline) had been accepted by and was trying to decide among the University of Michigan, Boston College and Baylor University.  Then he made some tours, hoping for that IT feeling. “A lot of it has to do with distance and what each program and university has to offer,” he said at the time.

His final choice? Boston College.

Michael says: “I chose it because of the access it has to the city of Boston while being in a small suburb of Boston and the programs that are available both at Boston College and the surrounding universities,” he says.  “They also have a really good career center and small but not confining size campus. I also wanted to explore something that was new and exciting while sticking to the moral and ethical values of a Jesuit university.”

Karina Young (Pathways) will enroll in a trades program in Grand Rapids.

Says Karina: I’m going to become a welder because that’s what I always wanted to do.”

Kaylah Richey (Huron) will attend Eastern Michigan University.

Says Kaylah: “I decided on Eastern because I kinda wanted to stay close to home, and I look up to my mom and she went there. So I thought it was pretty cool that I got accepted, so that’s where I decided to go. I’m either going to major in social work or pre-law.”

Emma Winegarden (Community) will attend the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Says Emma: “I had a few different options and most of them were out west because I knew I wanted to be in the mountains and I knew I wanted to be able to ski and hike pretty much year-round. I love the Communications College there. It’s fairly new and they have a great staff. I basically landed in Boulder because I saw the mountains and fell in love. I spent the whole day on the campus and learning, going to each of the different buildings and schools, met a bunch of people who are going to be in my freshman class and just decided: This is where I’m supposed to be.”


Micah Higa (Huron) will attend Saginaw Valley State University.

Says Micah: “I’ve been playing softball for about 10 years now and I plan on going to Saginaw Valley to further continue my career in softball and for academics. I’m still undecided right now what I want to go into, so I plan to take my core classes as a freshman and see where that takes me.”

Reakuan Smith (Pathways) will attend Washtenaw Community College on a $1,200 Ann Arbor Rotary Strive Scholarship.

Reakuan says: “I’m still considering what I’m going to do,” he said on his last day of classes at Pathways. “It’s a little overwhelming emotionally right now.”


Taliyah Morgan (Huron) will study early childhood education at Clark Atlanta University.

Says Taliyah: “I wanted to go to an HBCU and they have a wonderful campus environment. I like the school and the people there.”


Luke Wertenberger (Skyline) will attend Washtenaw Community College to study business.

“I decided to go to Washtenaw Community College largely because of the money. I was able to save a lot of money. And I learned of the transfer program. It seemed relatively easy. On top of that, they have a lot of programs I’m interested in, and transfer agreements with the public schools. WCC offers prerequisites for much less money. I like their campus, so I can go there for two years, then transfer. I can save some money, take the class and still get the degree I want.”


Sampoorna Ravikanth (Pioneer) will attend the University of Michigan.

Says Sampoorna: “I’m not totally sure what I’m going to be studying, but I think I’ll be on a pre-law track. I’m super excited. Michigan’s where I always wanted to go and Pioneer’s helped me get there.”


Cam Schnitzer (Community) will attend Colorado Mountain College.

Cam says: “I’ve been going to Colorado since I was three, so it’s kind of like a second home. I already know the area. I’ve been going out to Steamboat a lot, and the college is in Steamboat, so it felt like a good fit.”


Rafael Sorenson (Pathways) will train to become a firefighter.

Says Rafael: “Starting in 2017 I joined the Ann Arbor Township Fire Explorers, which kind of gives you a feel of what it’s like to be in the fire department, you go out training, extrication. This gets you into actual training with the fire department, but it’s not as intense because we’re still under the age so we have certain limits. It’s very interesting.  It’s hard work because you’re in the gear that regular firefighters would be in, but at the same time, it’s fun.”


Sam Kass (Pioneer) will attend Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Says Sam: “I don’t know what I’ll be studying. But I’ll be playing field hockey for their D3 hockey team. I chose to go there because it really has strong academics, but also I really like the coach and the field hockey program.”

Robert Malcolm (Skyline) will attend Morehouse College in Atlanta in the fall.

Robert says: “I went on the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)” tour and it was between Morehouse and Michigan. I got deferred from Michigan and then I sent them my official transcript again and got accepted, but it was kind of too late. I’d already made my decision to go to Morehouse. It’s a unique experience. They have a business administration program that’s connected to Michigan. I can do three years at Morehouse and then do two at Michigan and graduate with a master’s in business administration. That was a big reason for going down there. And it’s like a brotherhood, and I want to be part of something like that.”

Charles Seely (Skyline) will attend the University of Michigan

Says Charles: “I’ll be living in the Michigan Community Scholars Program and taking classes with them, and then hopefully applying to the Weinberg Institute for Cognitive Science my junior year.”




LeMarcus Roper (Pathways) will attend Washtenaw Community College.

Says LeMarcus: “In the fall I’ll be pursuing creative writing, journalism, and some marketing. I will also be doing more creative writing on the side, and probably do some song-writing and music production. So I’ll keep myself productive as I move forward.”


Sophie Lete-Straka (Community) will take a gap year through Adventures Cross Country before enrolling in the University of Michigan.

Says Sophie: “I just always pictured myself taking a gap year. Since my freshman year I never really thought I would go to college right after high school just because I think it’s a really cool experience I can’t get in a classroom and something I’ll only have the opportunity to do right now.  It’s two three-month-long programs. The first one we go to Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru. Then I come home for a month-ish.  The second three-month-long program takes place in Cuba and Patagonia. It’s going to be a lot of environmental conservation activities and a lot of nature exploration along with it.”


Emma Rose Carpenter (Skyline) will enroll in the Dual BA Program between Trinity College Dublin and Columbia University.

Says Emma Rose: ” I did research and looked into it and I thought it was a really cool program, so I applied, did an interview and got accepted.  I’ll spend the first two years in Ireland the next two years in New York City. Its definitely going to be a big adjustment and it’s a huge step. You’re moving to a different country and there’s no meal plan. You’re living in an apartment. So it’s a lot all at once, but I think it’ll be a good adventure and a challenge.


Elena Bernier (Community) will attend the University of Vermont.

“I’m going to the University of Vermont because it has a really good wildlife biology program and that’s what I want to study. I also really like the environment there. I’ve been going to Vermont with my family for a while, and I just really love being in the mountains and that kind of landscape. Also it’s a great school and it’s really fun.

Grayson Girard (Skyline) will attend college in California.

Says Grayson: “I’m going to get my PhD in biomedical engineering and a master’s in classics. I’m going to start at Moorpark College and then transfer to the University of San Francisco and hopefully get into their graduate program as well.”


Aviva Satz-Kojis (Community) will study psychology at the University of  Michigan.

Aviva says: “I grew up in Ann Arbor, born and raised, so obviously I always wanted to go here. That was always the dream. And then when I got in, the choice was made for me because it’s the best public school in Michigan. Or I think it’s the best public school in Michigan, and in-state tuition is really helpful. And so my decision was made as soon as I got in.”

Rob Duquette (Skyline) was deciding between the University of Michigan and Georgia Tech to study aerospace or mechanical engineering.

Says Rob: “Both the programs are very good and they’re so similar that it’s not going to be the program that tips my decision. Right now it’s more the fit of the college, and which one meets my other needs better.”

His final choice?

“I chose the University of Michigan because it offers a larger diversity of classes outside of engineering.”

Ahava Kopald (Skyline) will attend the University of Michigan,  where she’ll major in organizational studies, and be a member of the varsity rowing team.

“I chose U-M because I was looking for a school where I could grow and continue what I wanted out of academics. I also really just like a big school and the Big Ten environment.  I wanted both the high academic course, but also big football games and a big campus.”


 B.T. Khumbah (Pioneer) will attend Howard University.

Says B.T.: “As of right now, I plan to attend Howard Universityin Washington D.C.  and I plan on majoring in finance with a minor in mathematics.



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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for sharing the news from these wonderful, inspiring young people. Best wishes to all 1360 graduates as they venture forth!

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