WEST MICHIGAN — Your senior year in high school is something many will remember for the rest of their lives, especially those last couple months. But, for the graduating class of 2020, these times of course, will be remembered much differently.
It's why Fox17 started a new segment called, 'Senior Spotlight,' meant to highlight seniors all across West Michigan and their hard work. So, every Friday on our morning newscast, we will recognize different seniors, sharing their accomplishments, goals for the future and giving them the recognition they deserve. If you are interested in featuring your senior, send Deanna Falzone a message with a picture and short write up. We will feature them every Friday and try to get to as many as we can.
Senior Spotlight Week of April 6:
Cole Raphael: Thornapple Kellogg High School
He is on the track team and his mom says, “He has a passion for serving others and missions work and never leaves a classroom or practice with thanking his teacher or coach. Cole loves running and though bummed to be missing out on senior year track season, he will be leading his PE class in zoom workouts. We are proud of this amazing young man!”
Sarah Jane Veldhouse: Byron Center High School
She is also in the Kent Career Tech Center in the Certified Nurse Assistant/Nurse Tech Program. Her mom says “She and her medical classmates were to be finishing clinical rounds at the Grand Rapids Veterans Home in order to take the State of Michigan Licensing Written and Skills tests. Most are planning a future career in healthcare. The dedication of these students is truly amazing.” Sarah is headed to Southwestern Michigan to study nursing.
Samuel Lobert: Vestaburg High School
He’s an honors student. Participated in Robotics, Quiz Bowl and Model UN. He will be attending Central Michigan University to study Engineering. His mom says, “We are very proud of his accomplishments and our hearts go out to all seniors from the class of 2020.”
Madi Morris: Cedar Springs High School.
She played on the girls varsity soccer team, held a 3.93 GPA and was very active on the Athletic Leadership Counsel. She will be attending Eastern Michigan University, to study Communications Sciences and Disorders, with the goal to become a speech therapist. She hopes to work with children, especially those with down syndrome. Her mom says, their neighbor has down syndrome and inspired Madi to work in that field. Her family says they couldn't be prouder of her and are excited to see her excel in her new adventures.
Jaiden Friesen: Rockford High School
He will be going to Ferris State to play football. His mom saying, it’s so unfortunate for all these kids. "Born during 911, on lockdown during what should be the most memorable times of their lives right now and they are missing out on so much!! I believe this class of 2020 from whatever school they are attending are warrior's, lovers, caring selfless humans who can handle any challenge and will do great things in life! ❤❤❤”
Brianna Bredeweg: Allendale High School
She is on the cross country and track and field team. Three time All-State and Academic All-State. Holds division 2 state meet record and school record for pole vault. Brianna is also a Member of the National Honor Society. She will be attending the University of Michigan in the fall and will be a member of the track team.
Benjamin Young: Coopersville High School
BJ wasn’t even expected to survive past his first couple months of life, but he has proved he is a fighter and an inspiration to many in his community. He is a Make a Wish Michigan Hero, Hope College/DeVos Childrens Hospital Miracle Child Representative, Michigan Crossroads Council Eagle Scout of the Year and has been a team manager for the football and basketball teams for the past 4 years. He’s still deciding what his next adventure will be, but his parents say they are beyond proud of him!
Hannah Clark: Mona Shores High School
She has been very involved with her school theater program. Her mom says, “For seniors like Hannah they are missing senior night for shows they have been looking forward to since being in since middle school. Hannah is beautiful and artsy and so incredibly talented. I am so proud of her.”
Mykal Green Senior: Kelloggsville High School
His mom says, he is a young hard working man. And while she is heartbroken that he didn’t get to finish his senior year and his sports, she knows bigger and better things are to come for him. She says his love for his autistic brother is unconditional and he wants to be a special education teacher.
Kaylie DeVries: Covenant Christian High School
She will be attending Davenport University for their nursing program. Her mom wrote in saying, “my heart hurts for these kids and for the things they are missing but I know that the class is strong and the parents that have raised them are strong and they will get through this. These kids are learning a very hard "life lesson" right now ~ sometimes things don't go just as we had planned. This pandemic will become part of her life history…as parents we encourage them to look forward and not dwell on what can not be replaced, but to also help them celebrate in other ways. God has given her a life that she's not taking for granted and we wait to see what she does after this is all said and done.”