Higley Unified School District high school seniors will graduate with more than $33 million in scholarship offers, invaluable knowledge and huge goals.
Graduating Summa Cum Laude are Natalie Sampson, Brooke Lindsey, Megan Stoke and Ethan Despain from Higley High School in Gilbert, Arizona. Williams Field High School seniors Julie Nguyen, Michelle Liu and Emily Nasiff will also graduate in the top one percent of their class.
According to Career Center Specialist Mary Buscema, Williams Field’s 398 graduating seniors collectively earned more than $19 million in scholarship offers.
Alexa Lemke and Trey Leveque are two Williams Field seniors who excelled in their search for scholarships this year. Each will enter Arizona State University with more than $10,000 in scholarships.
Lemke, who will major in business (sustainability), gained the ASU Leadership Scholarship and Friends Place Community Volunteer Scholarship. Leveque will study business (global politics) on the Medallion, Dean’s, Ronald McDonald House Charities and Burger King Scholarships.
“I’m really excited to go to college and just take classes that allow me to follow my passion and allow me to experience the real world,” Lemke said.
Higley High Career Center Specialist Patti Smith said the (# of grads) students in Higley’s Class of 2017 collectively earned $14.8 million in scholarship offers.
Lindsey Brooke will attend Cornell University to study biology and society, and plans to attend law school after she graduates. She is a National Merit Scholar.
“Whatever your passion is, whatever your dream is, you should pursue it wholeheartedly,” Lindsey said. “If you found that thing that really just stirs your interest, you should follow that. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t do it because you can.”
Other graduates have big plans, as well.
Williams Field senior Tre Bugg will play Division I football and study at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado. Heading to New York University, Higley senior Abhiram Tadepalli plans to study finance with the Andy Grove Scholarship from Intel, Burger King Scholarship and Kiwanis Club of Queen Creek Scholarship.
Higley National Merit Scholar AnnaLisa Ortiz will attend the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque to study biology on the full-ride Regents’ Scholarship. She received $1 million in scholarship offers and plans to work in pediatric cardiology.
Williams Field seniors Tayla Daniels and Megan Davis both received full-ride scholarships. Daniels will study nursing at Northern Arizona University, while Davis will study biochemistry at Monmouth College in Illinois. Both students said their teachers were big influences on their growth.
“With them encouraging me and enlightening me on what I want to do in the future, it really helped me prepare for college and my life after I leave Williams Field,” Davis said.
Graysen Meyers, a soon-to-be Higley High graduate, will study software engineering at the University of Arizona. He received the President’s Scholarship, Engineering Honors Scholarship and a National Scholar award — the highest merit-based scholarship available from UA.
His time at Higley High inspired him to aim high, perhaps to become an app developer for a company like Tesla.
“It’s a really good program,” Meyers said of his engineering courses. “I just took it for the extra honors credit, but by the end, I knew that that’s what I wanted to do with my life.”