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Seniors’ Future Across America

Find out where the class of 2017 plans to go after high school

Jessica Glaszczak, Writer

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Although the class of 2017 has graduated, they are not completely leaving Winnetonka. The things they learned as Griffins will continue to guide them in their future lives. Whether that means attending college, going into the military or joining the workforce, the map below shows where seniors will be taking their PRIDE this fall.

Family first

Associating dreams with practicality, senior Anbert Kachitaro decided to take his future to the Maple Woods Metropolitan Community College [MCC], and then go to Micronesia, a country of islands near the Philippines.

“My parents wanted me to go [to MCC] for my education,” Kachitaro said. “I’m going to be working at the same time.”

Helping family in Micronesia is Kachitero’s main purpose and future after highschool.

“From [college] I’m going to go back and maybe help my grandpa build a house,” Kachitaro said. “Family is always first, so when I get home, they [family] need stuff done before I do what I need to do. I’ve always grown up with family and family always has my back, it wasn’t just friends.”

In order to help his family, Kachitaro wants to learn welding.

“Welding is a good job,” Kachitaro said. “It pays good enough, and I’m good with my hands. I just want to be successful and make enough for my family and go back home to where I’m from. Welding should help.”

Not following the majority

Senior Serina Middaugh fights the status quo and is going into the workforce in order to make a smart future for herself.

“I’m really not ready to continue schooling at the moment,” Middaugh said. “I just figured I would go into cashiering, which I can make $16 an hour and use that money to save up and then go into college.”

Middaugh has dreams of going further with her life while being in the workforce and possibly college.

“I want to be a cop,” Middaugh said. “It’s mainly something that I’ve always dreamed about from the shows I used to watch with my family. So it would mainly just be going into the police academy, but also if I do end up going to college it’ll be for criminal justice.”

Middaugh is also planning on leaving Missouri when she gets out of highschool.

“I’m leaving right after graduation,” Middaugh said. “My boyfriend’s dad and sister-in-law live [in North Dakota] and right after highschool we’re not really wanting to get into a whole lot of debt, so the amount of money that we could make in North Dakota in just a few short years could set us up for quite a few more years, so it’s mainly just about getting a good start.”

Middaugh believes that people don’t have to follow the status quo in order to accomplish their dreams.

“You can’t just let a struggle keep you from getting your goals,” Middaugh said. “You got to listen to your heart and do what’s best for you and not what everyone else thinks you should do.”

More than words

Even though senior Suzanna Zimmerman does not have family members or friends that are deaf, she found an interest to pursue interpreting for her future career.

“I find sign language fascinating and I want to be able to connect with other people in a different way,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman will be attending the University of Nebraska to pursue a degree in sign language interpretation and to study abroad.

“I decided to go there [University of Nebraska] because the options of sign language interpreting are very limited and that was one of the closest [colleges] that had a decent study abroad program,” Zimmerman said.

The University of Nebraska also provides other positives that interest Zimmerman, one being having a swim team because she was a part of the swim team at Tonka for four years.

“I know a bunch of people in Nebraska,” Zimmerman said. “It’s pretty close. I fell in love with the city, not that you’re supposed to go for the city but it seems like I could fit in. They have a swimming program.”

Zimmerman is considering interpreting at hospitals or in schools for a job after college.

“I just have a fascination with helping people in general,” Zimmerman said. “I find the medical side really fascinating, but because I don’t have the patience to do enough science in schooling, I’ve decided why not be there in a different light.”

Zimmerman feels that it is important to communicate with deaf people in anyway possible.

“It’ll give me a chance to connect with those that don’t get to connect,” Zimmerman said. “There’s so many people that shy away from even trying to communicate with a deaf person because they’re deaf or [they] don’t think they’re going to understand, so there’s no actual harm in attempting to connect, let alone actually learning the language and connecting with them and talking with them.”

A woman’s role

Even though it’s a man’s job, women can do it better,” senior Esmeralda Deleon said.

Deleon is pushing the limits of traditional roles of women, and she will be joining the Marines at Paris Island, North Carolina.

“I always wanted something more challenging for myself and I thought that [joining the Marines] was the best fit for me, personally,” Deleon said. “I’m not really a school type of person. I’m more hands-on, so I thought [joining the Marines] would help me more.”

Deleon’s father was the inspiration for her dreams and goals.

“My dad has always been a great support system,” Deleon said. “He always wanted to join the Marines as well, but he dropped out [of highschool] as a junior, so he never got that opportunity. I want to give something back to him.”

Deleon’s father also inspired her to become a mechanic.

“He works with mechanics and he is in the mechanical field,” Deleon said. “I always looked up to my dad, so that’s probably a reason why [I want to be a mechanic].”

Another reason she wants to be a mechanic is to change the perception of women in the work force.

“[Being a mechanic is] something most women aren’t in, and it’s very rare,” Deleon said. “I thought that was awesome, and I want to be a part of history that gets more women in the [mechanical] fields so that [they will] stop being sexualized.”

Deleon believes that women wanting to challenge themselves with their future careers should follow their dreams.

“There are a lot of women who graduate recruit training [basic training to be a Marine] and are these awesome people,” Deleon said. “I just look up to them. Always motivate yourself to tell yourself that you can do it. Always challenge yourself and don’t always take the easy way out. Be whoever you want to be. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t be that person or that you’re not able to do it. Show them different. Turn around and prove them wrong. I think that’s the most powerful thing that you can do.”

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