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Editorial: Impressive Carroll grads show the future is in good hands

Another season of graduations wrapped up Saturday night when seniors from Winters Mill High School became the seventh and final public school class to walk across the stage at McDaniel College, out of their youth and into a future that will mean venturing into the workforce for some, enlisting in the military for others and heading off to college for still more.

It’s an exciting, if somewhat scary, time for the 18-year-olds. It’s also a little scary for older generations, wondering into whose hands they’re leaving the world. If the graduating seniors we’ve been profiling over the past week or 10 days are any indication, we’re all in pretty good shape.

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Galilea Bocanegra, who graduated from Manchester Valley High School on Monday night, volunteered with Special Olympics, was the secretary of the National Honors Society, president of the service-oriented Key Club and the co-secretary of the Future Business Leaders of America. She accumulated more than 900 service learning hours, with three stints as an Outdoor School counselor. She has interned with a law firm and plans to go into the legal field after college at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Corey Disney, who graduated from Francis Scott Key High School on Tuesday night, stood out because of his musical ability and his connection with others. A member of the marching band and an athlete, Disney helped found a multicultural club at FSK. He is going to attend Shepherd University to study computer information technology and hopes to one day work for the federal government, preventing cyber attacks.

Sterling Mead, who graduated from Century High School on Wednesday, displayed people skills and foot skills as captain of the Knights' soccer team, but also stood out in math and science. His STEM proficiency led to a two-year internship with Northrop Grumman which led to a paid internship with the global security company this summer before he heads off to the University of Maryland to major in mechanical engineering.

For Westminster High School’s Thursday commencement, we profiled not one but four graduates — the Dewan quadruplets, Brianna, Colin, Kayla and Morgan. All were quite active during high school, including in the Best Buddies program, and all were straight-A, four-year honor roll students. Now, all are headed off to Carroll Community College with eventual plans to go into medicine (Brianna), early childhood education (Morgan), accounting (Colin) and nursing (Kayla).

Evelyn Martinez, who graduated from South Carroll High School on Friday, was a leader in her school’s Diversity Committee, helping to plan and run events, and also a big part of the Spanish Club and FFA, helping animals and fellow students alike. She is headed to UMBC in the fall to study biochemistry and molecular biology with the goal of becoming a veterinarian.

Delaney Putt, who graduated from Liberty High School on Saturday, played soccer and softball and sang in the choir at Liberty. She is good with people and hopes to participate in the Disney College Program during her career at Rider University in New Jersey with an eye on a possible future in the field of communications.

J.R. Mkpasi, who graduated from Winters Mill High School on Saturday night, was part of the student group “Sources of Strength” chapter at Winters Mill, as well as being a peer facilitator and a volunteer at Our Daily Bread when he wasn’t studying high-level science. He interned at Carroll Hospital and he, too, is headed to UMBC with the goal of eventually earning a doctorate and going into the medical field.

The grads we met from the local private schools and from other programs were equally impressive.

In all, well over 2,000 young people graduated from Carroll County schools this spring and we can’t wait to see what they do. The future is in good hands.

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