Among the most meaningful experiences for me as an educator has been when my former students visit after they graduated from high school. Seeing my students grown up and learning about their lives after high school is more rewarding to educators than students may know. The success of our young people is a joy we all share in together - as educators, as parents, as community members. In Englewood, we are invested in the futures of our children, and it's gratifying when students grow up to be well-adjusted, driven, passionate adults who contribute to making our communities better.
As we enter graduation season, the most exciting time of our students' K-12 school career, I would like to provide an update on a few of our graduates and what they are up to after high school. Thank you to these Englewood Schools alumni for allowing me to share their stories and updates on their lives after high school.
Englewood High School Class of 2008
Post High School Pursuits: Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree with an emphasis on photography from the University of Colorado Denver
Career: Professional photographer and published children's book artist
A talented artist, Samantha has achieved much success as a photographer, and recently as a published book illustrator for Lucky the Spider, written by Alan Simon. Englewood Schools has hired Samantha for the past several years to take photos of our schools, teachers and students. The beautiful professional photos our community sees on our website, social media and newsletters are most likely the brilliant work of
our very own alumni, Samantha Simmons!
Hobbies and interests:I am continuing my martial arts background (3rd degree blackbelt) with stunt work and acting for local indie film projects.
Fondest high school memory:Learning all aspects of journalism from Mrs. Jones on the Pirateer newspaper by writing articles, creating illustrations and photographing for stories.
Advice for current high schoolers:Don't conform. Be the best version of yourself.
Taylor during his missionary trip to the Philippines.
Colorado's Finest High School of Choice Class of 2016
Post-High School Pursuits: Utah Valley University, Missionary
Career Goals: Family Counselor and Therapist
After graduating from high school, Taylor moved to Utah and later spent time in the Philippines while serving on a missionary trip with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a missionary, Taylor gained enriching life experiences while serving others and learning about different cultures.
Through this experience, Taylor's passion to help people became stronger. "I saw other parts of the world and what others have lived through." He says his goal is to become a family counselor and therapist, and he is now studying Family Studies and Psychology at Utah Valley University.
Fondest high school memory: My most fond memories are invested the Colorado's Finest teachers were in their students. They're always so willing to help and make sure we are staying on top of things. Colorado's Finest teachers made an impact on me, and I really appreciate the time and care that was taken to support me in my education. I just loved Finest, and I try to come back to visit when I can.
Advice for current high schoolers: Really take goal setting and planning seriously. Set goals and make plans and stay on top of them. Stay focused on schooling because it is so important, and what you do after school is just as important. Having plans and making plans to be successful is crucial. This can be applied to a number of different things in life. Learn effective goal setting and planning.
Courtney is currently a student with the Leeds School of Business at CU Boulder.
Englewood High School Class of 2017 Valedictorian
Post-High School Pursuits: Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Career Goals: Business marketing
Since graduating in 2017, most of Courtney's time has been allocated toward school. She was accepted into the Leeds School of Business at CU Boulder and has spent the past two years working toward a degree in marketing and real estate. In addition to school, Courtney holds a part time job and enjoys a strong social life. She likes to ski and recently volunteered to serve on a missionary trip to Jamaica where she helped repair a local church.
When asked what her career goals are, Courtney explained that she loves the marketing aspect of business and would love to put that passion to use in the future. "Luckily, Leeds has a career development office, so as I get closer to graduating I can turn to them for some guidance in finding a job that aligns with my interests."
Fondest high school memory:When I look back at high school, my favorite memories are the ones I created while being a part of sports teams. Being a member of a team gave me a group of girls to become best friends with for my entire high school career. I also fondly look back on the strong relationships that I created with some of my teachers and coaches. Not only did these relationships provide me with beneficial advice and guidance, but they also created bonds that have continued to last after graduation.
Advice for current high schoolers:Although this sounds super cliché, my advice to high school students is to actually try to learn and retain the information you are hearing; don't just roll through the motions! High school is much easier compared to college, so if you can push yourself to learn good study habits and do the extra readings now, you will be so much more prepared for the larger work load in college. Also, when you get to college you may be able to complete the homework assignments without doing the assigned readings, but if that is your mindset I can promise you that when it comes to taking the test you will regret that decision.
Edwing is currently studying at UCD.
Englewood High School Class of 2018
Post-High School Pursuits: Full time student at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD)
Career Goals: Emergency Psychiatric Doctor
With Edwing's eyes set on becoming an emergency psychiatric doctor, he has already made a splash at UCD. As a freshman, he started a group called the Wellness Alliance with a group of like-minded college students who have hopes of making a difference in the medical area of mental health. The Wellness Alliance has partnered with Englewood High School to target and break down the negative stigmas associated with mental health challenges facing adolescents. Every other week, Edwing and his college peers meet with a small group of EHS students to discuss mental health issues and how common they are in our society, while also addressing mental health misconceptions. Edwing and the Wellness Alliance help to build a connection between counselors and students with the aim of encouraging young people to seek support when they need it and build confidence in themselves. The group has designed curriculum and posters to be used at EHS to help raise awareness and provide students with resources offered at the school.
Additionally, as a member of UCD's Pre-Health Learning Community, Edwing helps to tackle ethics, law and cultural diversity in health care.
Hobbies and interests:I love to travel to places and explore different perspectives to expand my mind on other cultures and amazing people. I love learning about many different people, and the diversity of culture to better connect with patients. Another interest I'm passionate about is mental health, as I have dealt with mental health most of my life. Because of my personal connection to mental health, I am driven to help others that are faced with similar challenges.
Fondest high school memory: The thing I remember most fondly from high school was the classes offered at Englewood High School. Not only are there classes to help students receive college credit, but the AP classes challenge the students' ability to be disciplined and develop skills to help them achieve their goals.
Advice for current high schoolers:Do not be discouraged nor compare yourself to another individual when striving to reach your goals. The question is how driven are you? People envision having luxury items as a definition of success, but how does that personally relate to you? Are you willing to make the sacrifices to be successful and willing to chase the path of success? Responsibility and discipline are key traits toward success. What does mean to you personally? Do you need to pursue a college degree to reach your goals? Even with a college degree it's not guaranteed you'll have a stable job or achieve a high pay grade. Do not go with the mind set the world owes you anything. You have to be passionate about the goal you are pursuing. Life get difficult, but keep getting back up.
Colorado's Finest High School of Choice Class of 2007
Post High School Pursuits: Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from the University of Colorado Denver.
A Colorado's Finest High School of Choice alumni and Bachelor's degree recipient from UCD, Jenny now works at an engineering firm with a focus on water treatment and historical preservation. She is applying to graduate schools to earn a Master's of Architecture so that she can achieve her goal of being a licensed architect in Colorado.
On her experience at CFHSC: I feel like I owe all of my success in life to Colorado's Finest. The determination and perseverance I gained from my attendance at the school really provided an intensely strong foundation for my years in college, despite several road bumps. I earned two different scholarships in college, as well, one being fully related to graduating from an alternative environment.
Jenny continues to stay in touch with Principal Bobbie Skaggs and her former teachers and she volunteers at the school. She says, "It is important for me to try to give back to Colorado's Finest and help education in any way I can."
I would like to continue to periodically share out updates on our alumni. If you or your student are willing to share updates with us, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wendy Rubin, Ed.D.
In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act and Colorado law, Englewood Schools does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, gender, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability or need for special education services in admissions, access to, treatment, or employment in educational programs or activities which it operates. Inquiries or complaints may be referred to Phil Bedford, Chief Human Resources and Operations Officer, 4101 S. Bannock Street, Englewood, CO 80110, (303) 806-2029, or to the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Region VIII, Federal Office Building, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204.