CLASS OF 2021: THEN AND NOW

Written on 05/18/2021
Laura Fitzpatrick

Snapshots of graduating Warriors’ dreams, past and present As this school year comes to a close, and another group of seniors eagerly anticipates graduation, this is a natural time to reflect on the journeys of these young adults and the futures that lay before them. What type of people are they becoming? Do they have […]

Snapshots of graduating Warriors’ dreams, past and present

As this school year comes to a close, and another group of seniors eagerly anticipates graduation, this is a natural time to reflect on the journeys of these young adults and the futures that lay before them. What type of people are they becoming? Do they have an idea of what their calling might be and how to move forward in pursuit of that? How has their time at Worthington Christian shaped them and prepared them for life?

In the 2014 school year, WC’s Class of 2021 was in fifth grade. They were asked then “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and their pictures and responses were shared in the elementary school yearbook. We caught up with some of these students now that they are graduating from high school to see how they answer that same question. Their responses are heartwarming and inspiring, ranging from their current dreams being drastically different, to other dreams being exactly the same.

From illustrator to veterinarian, entrepreneur to underwater diver, this year’s class is comprised of a beautiful mosaic of talents and interests. The following pictures and words represent only a portion of this year’s graduating class and provide only a small window into the people these students are becoming. What all of the stories hold in common, though, is the impact that WC has had on their development as students and as humans. There are seniors who are confident in their career choice and see a clear path ahead, and there are seniors who are unsure and still on a journey to discovering what is to come. Life is full of surprises and mystery and the unexpected. If in another ten years, these seniors’ responses are once again different than their current vision for the future, each of them will still carry in their hearts a sense of God’s call and purposes for their lives.

Corbyn Antrim explains, “I have always loved animals…and I have always wanted to go to Ohio State.” Her dream will come true this fall as she starts her college career at The Ohio State University. Her fifth-grade dream to become a veterinarian has stuck with her. Taking WC science classes like biology and anatomy helped to prepare her for the next chapter in her pursuing dream.

Alysha Beard will attend The Ohio State University this fall to study business management. She hopes to become an entrepreneur in the fashion industry. Alysha reflects, “My time at WC has been a journey to finding myself, with a supportive community of teachers and friends to help along the way.”

Max Berner’s career aspirations have taken a sharp dive since fifth-grade…literally. He now intends to become an underwater welder. He plans to attend Commercial Diving Technologies Institute in Hudson, Florida, following his high school graduation.

Will Cain will attend the University of Cincinnati to study mechanical engineering this fall. His dream job is to be part of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. With two parents involved in the realm of Information Technology, Will has always been interested in technology and engineering. He began taking college courses as a sophomore at WC and will graduate with over a year’s worth of college credits.

Erin Davison has known all along that she wants to be an elementary school teacher. She will attend Lee University this fall to major in elementary education. WC teachers have been instrumental in developing and refining Erin’s interest in becoming a teacher. “WC teachers have poured so much into me and shaped me into the person I am, and I want to do that for other kids.”

Jana Eicher plans to study finance this fall at Ohio Northern University. A far cry from interior design, Jana tells of how instrumental her math classes have been in sparking her interest in the world of finance.

Ben Evans will attend Cedarville University to study finance. He will also be part of the university’s golf team and would love to join the Professional Golf Association one day.

Chase Fourman will attend The Ohio State University’s Newark campus this fall and pursue a degree in chemical engineering. At WC, he has taken courses like Pam Cain’s robotics class that have spurred his interest in engineering. He would like to one day work in the automotive industry as an engineer.

Alex Friedman will attend the Miami University this fall to major in biology. Her fifth-grade career aspiration wasn’t far off from her current plan to become a physician assistant. She explains, “Taking Mrs. MacMahon’s Honors Anatomy and Physiology really encouraged me in my interest in the medical field.”

Edward Gamel will attend Florida State University this fall to study chemical engineering. He chuckles as his childhood aspiration to become an author, explaining, “I read a lot as a kid, that’s why I thought being an author sounded like a good fit.” Edward has also always been strong in math and the sciences. Taking Chemistry with Mrs. Burns as a junior made a lasting impression on his interests. He enjoys building and creating and hopes to combine these loves in his future career.

Levi Hammond will attend Ohio Christian University this fall to study business. He will also be on the university’s baseball team. He maintains his childhood interest in becoming a professional baseball player. His pursuit of a degree in business is influenced by his mother’s involvement in the business world and the many business classes he has taken at WC.

Real-world experience and hands-on learning serve to reveal what suits a student and what doesn’t. This was Zach Hoheisel’s story with WC’s Internship Academy. In his words, “I learned that physical therapy is not for me. I also learned that I enjoy the business world.” True to his experience, he plans to study business after graduation at Liberty University.

Zoe Holston plans to study biology on a pre-medicine path at Stetson University this fall. She also plans to continue her love for rowing as a member of the university’s crew. From movie producer to orthopedic surgeon, she laughs at how her dreams have changed.

Tyler Kindberg will attend Indiana Wesleyan University this fall and study finance. He will also continue his basketball career there.

Ben King plans to attend Cedarville University this fall. He is interested in both finance and training to become a Bible teacher. He explains, “In fifth grade, I thought Ben Carson was cool so I wanted to be a brain surgeon. Since then, year after year, I have learned so much about the Bible through my classes at WC. The teachers make WC what it is.”

Courtney Kravitz will attend Otterbein University to study biology this fall. With aspirations of becoming a physician rather than a broadway dancer, she still loves dance and plans to minor in it at Otterbein. Courtney’s dad is a podiatrist and her stepmom is a nurse, so her interest in the medical field comes as second nature. She has also taken many science classes at WC that have served to deepen her interest in medicine. From taking part in dissections in Mrs. McMahon’s Anatomy class to studying the realm of biotech under Mrs. Mikhail, Courtney feels well-prepared for the next step in her academic journey.

Faith Kray will attend Florida Gulf Coast University this fall to pursue a degree in nursing. She has always loved soccer and played club and school soccer from third grade through her senior year, but she now dreams of joining the medical field. Through WC’s Internship Academy, Faith was able to shadow neurosurgeon Dr. Mark White. In her experience and conversations with him, she now dreams of becoming a physician assistant one day.

Ethan Kraynak plans to study Exercise Science at Indiana Wesleyan University and continue his baseball career at the collegiate level. He still carries his childhood dream to play professional baseball. He credits his involvement with WC’s athletics program with sharpening him as a player. “I wouldn’t be playing college baseball if I hadn’t played baseball at WC. Having coaches with college experience pour into me has had a significant impact on me.”

Emma Kurzenknabe will attend Spring Arbor University this fall in pursuit of a degree in social work. She would like to one day become a pastor. She explains, “After a sports injury in middle school, I was told I couldn’t play soccer anymore. God really used that experience to open up different doors for me. I began volunteering more with my home church Vineyard Church Delaware County and discovered a desire to become a pastor.”

Maya Kurzenknabe will attend Spring Arbor University this fall to study elementary education. Still dear to her heart is the memory of having Mrs. Perez as her fourth grade teacher, “Mrs. Perez did such a good job of learning her students’ needs and personally investing in our lives.” In her words, “I have had so many caring teachers at WC and observed how they have loved all of us students and truly shaped our minds; I want to be that for the next generation.”

Abby Lankar will attend Pennsylvania State University this fall to study pre-medicine. She will also be a member of the Penn State bowling team. She explains, “As a kid, I enjoyed math and liked the idea of being an architect, combining math and being artsy. In high school, my interest turned toward the sciences. WC’s science teachers really know how to get students to learn in the way that’s best for them. My experience under their teaching inspired my interest to become a doctor.”

Mackay Lykens is interested in joining the world of real estate following graduation. He explains, “WC offers lots of business offerings…classes like personal finance and business management have helped to shape my interests.”

Hope Nyland plans to begin her post-high school studies at Columbus State in pursuit of career in the medical field. She’s discovered an interest in the life sciences, explaining, “WC’s academic rigor actually made me care about my learning.”

Oyinda Oladejo-Lawal plans to attend Columbus State this fall and later attend the Columbus College of Art and Design. She’s long been inspired by her father’s artistry, including photography and drawing, and she’s also had experiences at WC that have helped to shape her interest in art. “Mrs. Heisey’s digital art class made a last impression on me. I remember learning to draw on the iPads in that class and discovering that I gravitate towards the abstract.” Oyinda also had the opportunity, through WC’s Internship Academy, to work under a graphic artist at a local printing press. This experience confirmed her desire to pursue graphic design.

Caleb Postlewait plans to take a gap year following graduation. He laughs as he looks back at his childhood dreams of becoming an archeologist. His brief explanation? “I liked dinosaurs as a kid.” He now plans to pursue education to become a software engineer.

Elia Raikes will attend Taylor University this fall to study business. She still likes soccer and played on WC’s girls’ soccer team all four years of high school, but now knows herself and how she is wired better than in the days of aspiring to play soccer at OSU. “I want to be my own boss–own my own business. Going into the workforce doesn’t sound so scary, knowing that I can create my own path.”

Scott Ruane will attend Baylor University this fall to study business. He explains, “I like creating things and seeing them come to life.” He dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.

Emma Sanders will attend Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, this fall. Though she still loves soccer and played on WC’s girls soccer team throughout high school, she is turning her career sights toward the sciences. She is interested in one day becoming part of NASA’s team of experts.

Rae Schreiber still likes dogs, but it is her long-standing passion for art that now drives her career ambition to become an illustrator. She plans to attend the Columbus College of Art and Design this fall.

Zach Thomas will attend Baylor University to study business this fall. His childhood aspirations of playing professional hockey were impacted by repeated sports-related injuries as a seventh-grader. His interest in business is rooted in the example of his father and his own business experience. He explains that WC made him feel at home and he sees it as a “place to come back to.”

Julia Todd will attend the University of Cincinnati this fall in pursuit of becoming a pharmacist. An experience after her sophomore year at WC proved pivotal for her journey. WC biology teacher Krista Wood encouraged Julia to attend a pharmacy-related camp at Findlay University, where Julia describes falling in love with the field.

Anna Valentine will attend The Ohio State University to study pre-medicine this fall. She laughs that marine was “the only thing I knew how to spell” as a fifth-grader. Her interest in becoming a surgeon was inspired by a family experience–her grandfather had surgery in which she was moved by his surgeon’s ability to save a human life. She has always loved children, volunteering often in the children’s ministry at her home church of Grace Polaris, and aspires to help children through pediatric surgery.