Meet The Class Of 2015 Teens We’re Following During Their Senior Year

Sep 8, 2014

This year on Central Standard, we'll be following three teenagers through their senior year of high school, from the beginning of the year through graduation in May, 2015.

Ruskin High senior Harold Burgos is working on high school and college at the same time through "dual credit" classes.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Harold Burgos: High school and college at the same time

Age: 17

School: Ruskin High School, Hickman Mills School District, Kansas City, Mo.

Looking forward to senior year because: “I actually was excited this year for my dual credit classes. What I like about them is I feel like I’m thriving to advance toward my career.”

Interests: “I’m an outdoors kind of guy. I like playing outside with my friends – we go have a scrimmage of soccer. Even with my family, I will take a walk with them. We’re interactive; we like to spend our time outside rather than watching TV at home.”

Biggest challenge: “I’m not worried. If everything goes good, I should be able to pace on toward graduation.”

Post-graduation plans: Community college at Johnson County Community College, Penn Valley or Longview, then transfer to a 4-year school

Career goals: “What I like to study is engineering. I’m really dedicated to it.”

Life goals: “What I want to get out is to help others see that you can go above working a low-wage job. You can prosper more. There’s more to life than high school.”

Sache Hawkins is hoping to graduate in 2015, after only three years in high school.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Sache Hawkins: Graduating in three years

Age: 17

School: De La Salle Education Center (an alternative charter school in Kansas City, Mo.)

Looking forward to senior year because: “I always said I wanted to graduate at least a year or two early and yes, I’m going to graduate in three years like I said.” Also, “making an impression on people, and making sure my name lives on, even after I graduate.”

Interests: Cooking, family, student council

Biggest challenge: “I’m not really good with tests but when I take my time, I get it done and I get it right … It’s a little stressful. Graduation keeps me up at night, thinking about it. I get a little sick feeling in my stomach, then I’m like, OK, I’m gonna get it, I’m gonna make it, I’m getting there, slowly.”

Post-graduation plans: University of Missouri

Career goals: “I want to be a pharmacist because I want to help cure people, like my cousin. He has autism.  I want to be a restaurant owner because I love to cook, that’s my passion."

Life goals: “To make sure I’m in a stable place but at the same time, to get my family where I’m at, too… my family has to go where I go."

Ashwanth Samuel has a passion for music and math, but isn't sure what his future career will be.
Credit Sam Zeff / KCUR

Ashwanth Samuel: Music and math

Age: 17

High School: Olathe Northwest High School, Olathe, Kan.

Looking forward to senior year because:  “I’m just trying to make this place a better place. It was a great experience and it was a great experience because of the people who made it so fun. And those people were the upper classmen at the time. All those students were what made Olathe Northwest so great and I feel like I owe it to the younger kids here, the underclassmen, that they should have a great time as well.”

Interests: “Music is a pretty big part of my life. I have been in the Kansas City Youth Symphony for three years. I’m the concert master of the advanced orchestra here.”

“[I] do a lot of community service … I’m in the student council here. I have been in the principal’s advisory board and have been in the service club.”

Plans after graduation: “As for college options, trying to get out of the Midwest if I can. Preferably, West Coast because it’s nice and warm, Southern California that would be pretty incredible. But East Coast too, I have a lot of cousins there so that would be nice.”

Career goals: “I do love the sciences but I also really do like math so I feel like there are so many options out there that it’s just going to take some time to see what I’d really like to do.”