Liliana Fofana-Robinson is taking the road less traveled, which leads right to Denmark.
She will study at Orestad Gymnasium in Denmark on a Rotary District 6360 grant. During this yearlong exchange program, she will live with a host family and learn Danish.
Lili is the first student sponsored by the Battle Creek Rotary for this program. She has prepared for this trip for two years.
“During the training, they tell us how to pack, how to learn the language, and how to handle the emotional roller coaster of homesickness and excitement,” Lili said.
Among her carefully-packed things, Lili will take memories of high school, including her time as an athlete, a musician, a student leader, and the Homecoming Queen.
“My favorite time was Homecoming Week because I just liked spending time with my classmates,” Lili said.
When she returns, Lili plans to pursue a degree in architecture and interior design.
Andrew Forche has given his parents plenty of reasons to smile.
He is the class valedictorian, the winner of the St. Thomas Aquinas Diocese of Kalamazoo Scholarship Competition, a four-year Math and Science Center student, a decorated multi-sport athlete, and a commended National Merit Scholar.
However, telling his Michigan State University alumni parents he wanted to attend the University of Michigan, gave them pause.
“It was a long conversation,” Andy said. “I just like the feeling on [Michigan’s] campus more, and somehow I managed to convince my parents that it was OK.”
Even when MSU offered him full tuition?
“Like I said, it was a long conversation,” Andy said.
Andy plans to study computer science and hopes to earn an undergraduate research position. He also wants to run club track.
“Running track was definitely my favorite part of high school,” Andy said. “I always had great teams and nice coaches.”
No senior has made a bigger commitment after graduation than Sarah Guzzo, who accepted an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point.
“I want to go to West Point to make a positive difference in my life and to serve our country,” Sarah said.
Sarah’s appointment caps a rigorous application process that included four letters of recommendation, three essays, a physical examination, as well as successfully seeking nominations from Senator Debbie Stabenow and Representative Justin Amash.
“I didn’t realize the impact my faith has had until after I accepted my appointment,” Sarah said. “[God] gave me the tenacity I needed to finish the application, the confidence I needed to survive the many interviews, and the knowledge that I have the love and support of my family and friends wherever I end up.
Sarah will study engineering with an eye toward military intelligence or the Corps of Engineers.
Kenny Wojcik wants to be a dentist like his father, although his father hadn’t a clue until Kenny was named Homecoming King.
“I walked on the football field at Homecoming, and they announced what each person on the court wanted to do,” Kenny said. “When they said I wanted to be a dentist my dad said, ‘Oh, I didn’t know that.'”
A National Honor Society member and Math and Science Center student, Kenny will begin his degree at Aquinas. There, he will continue his decorated running career as a member of the cross-country and track teams, which will help him earn his degree.
“I do better in school when I’m in sports because having more time means having more time to procrastinate with me,” Kenny said.
Kenny’s favorite high school memories are a mix of track and friends.
“It’s hard to pick,” Kenny said. “Our whole grade is so close.”
Editor’s Note: This is the final “Senior Spotlight” for 2018. It has been an honor to get to know these young adults better. They have made us proud and we wish them best. May God lead them safely on their next adventure.