Justice Steiner is a decorated basketball player, but he doesn’t aspire to play for a college.
“I’ll just play in rec leagues,” Justice said. “That’s good enough for me. No more competitive.”
His favorite high school memory was competing on the court, but not with a basketball.
“For me, it was playing macho volleyball sophomore year and winning,” Justice said. “My whole class was super into it, and we had a lot of fun.”
This honor student intends to remain in sports, but in a public relations or accounting capacity.
“I feel like both fields are a pathway to working in sports,” said Justice, who will begin his education at Kellogg Community College.
Justice’s dream job involves his favorite basketball team.
“I’d like to work for the Washington Wizards,” Justice said. “That’s a long shot, but any sports team in the NBA or at the college level would be sweet.”
Katrina Rorhus is staying home after graduation, just not in Michigan.
“I’m spending a gap year in Norway,” Katrina said. “I have a dual-citizenship, so I need to keep it.”
That year will include plenty of hikes and ski trips, something this youngest member of the Bittersweet Area Ski Patrol will welcome.
When she returns, Katrina plans to study environmental science at the University of Oregon.
“Oregon is gorgeous and the school is really good,” Katrina said. “There are a lot of ecosystems there.”
Katrina’s environmental science research has already begun. Together with classmate Ariana Saifollahi, Katrina developed Smart Leaf, an artificial photosynthesis process, which earned them a semi-finalist nod at the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge last year. Katrina used their research as the jumping off point for her independent research project.
“I am now building Smart Leaf and testing it to see if it actually works,” Katrina said.
“My interests are pretty broad,” Jack Gallagher said.
This National Honor Society member pursues his interests in sports and academics at St. Philip, his interest in computer science at the Battle Creek Math and Science Center, and his interests in photography and fashion design on his own time.
Which one of these Jack pursues after graduation depends on whether he goes to Michigan State University or heads to New York City to attend NYU or Fordham.
“The problem is fashion doesn’t overlap with computer science, so it makes it hard to dual major,” Jack said. “New York would be great for fashion design, but if I go to Michigan State University, I’ll probably start with computer science.”
Determining a favorite high school memory, however, is easy for Jack.
“It was sophomore year homecoming when we beat the seniors in macho volleyball,” Jack said. “It was exciting. Hands-down, the best.”
Ariana Saifollahi’s favorite high school moments involve the little things.
“Being with my friends during football games, just the things we did in class, all those car rides between St. Phil and the Math and Science Center – that was fun,” Ariana said.
Her high school resume, however, involves some big things.
Ariana was a Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge semi-finalist with classmate Katrina Rorhus for their artificial photosynthesis research. Her documentary video won a UCLA cultural competition.
Currently, Ariana is shadowing paramedics during her LifeCare internship.
“I’m fine with blood,” Ariana said. “I don’t enjoy it, but I’m fine with it.”
Ariana plans to study biology, with an eye toward the medical field. She is considering Michigan State University or the University of California, Irvine.
“Both are really good schools,” Ariana said. “I have family in California, but my immediate family is in Michigan.”
And family is no little thing.