Jamison Kugler

Starting in August, I will attend the University of Maine to study Biochemistry and Botany. I plan to work in research.

I participated in Robotics, Science Club, Archery, and Seeds of Stewardship throughout high school. During my senior year, I was selected as an ambassador for the Arizona Trail which helped me develop communication and leadership skills.

I appreciate the guidance from my teachers, academic counselors, and administrators at Empire High. I am grateful for the opportunities provided by my family and their willingness to give me the freedom to explore my interests.

Peter Thornley

I’m planning on going to Utah State University to study Computer science.

School has gotten pretty tough in its own right a couple of times. I ended up taking four AP classes junior year, so I was really busy most of the time. To cap everything off, two of my tests were on the same day, so that was about 8 continuous hours of testing, and the same thing happened Senior year.

My mom is my inspiration. She was always there for me, helped me out whenever I left something important at home, and when I was feeling overwhelmed, she was there to cheer me on, and remind me that if you’re going to eat an elephant, you can only do it one bite at a time.

Giuseppe Giacoia

Giuseppe Giacoia Graduation Shoot April 16, 2022. Photo by Ary Frank / afrank photography

Overall my future is still pretty opaque. This upcoming fall, I will be attending the University of Arizona’s W.A. Frank Honors College as an undeclared major. I will work with my academic advisors to figure out where I’ll fit in. I intend to double major in political science and civil engineering, and pursue a future in city development or in-state/local politics.

For me the biggest obstacle was for sure the language one. I came to the US during my eighth grade not really knowing a lot of English. So I was glad to be able to overcome the language barrier in the early years of high school. Now English is, to me, a second first language, I find no difficulty in speaking, and even was able to take, and pass, the AP English language and composition test last year. Another barrier that I was able to overcome, although not as drastic as the language barrier, was finding my “group”. Even in Brazil, I was mostly an introvert, so moving to a country with a different language seemed like a certain nail in the coffin of my social life. But, thankfully, I found great friends that were able to take this handsome protagonist under their wings.

My inspiration throughout high school was definitely an old friend of mine from Brazil, called Pedro. He always seemed to have his life figured out, and somehow always exceeded academically and socially. But, being his friend, I knew his life wasn’t this black and white greatness; he had inner struggles that he was almost always able to overcome through the help of others around him. I think I will always admire him as someone that could do it all, and was always able to deal with his problems.

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