Catholic High School Graduates Count Blessings, Look Toward Future
July 10, 2015 | posted by Stephen Chavez
Throughout the month of May and early June, Catholic High School seniors participated in Baccalaureate Masses and graduation ceremonies. “You helped me see the sun, when I could only see clouds. You believed in me, which helped me believe in myself,” Emily said.Graduates are already looking toward the future including Emily Cervantes, a St. Gerard Catholic High School graduate who will pursuing biomedical engineering at Texas A&M University thanks to a full academic scholarship. As the school’s valedictorian, she offered a speech during the graduation ceremony thanking those who helped her along the way. Emily thanked longtime mentors and staunch supporters of Hope for the Future’s mission to provide a Catholic high school education to those who are economically disadvantaged and founders of the Burziks’ Brightest Scholars, Mr. and Mrs. Cathy and Frank Burzik, for pushing her to accomplish more and supporting her education financially.
She continued by thanking her parents, “You have sacrificed so much just so I could get a good education. It may take a while, but I’ll do everything I can to repay you for everything you have done for me.”
Graduates across the Archdiocese are benefiting from superlative achievements. For example, several students from St. Anthony Catholic High School were recognized for earning well above average in scholarship money and hours of community service performed.
Chris Gokelman, the school’s Valedictorian, earned an astounding $556,472 in scholarship money. In addition to performing at a high academic level, Chris performed 1,050 service hours and will attend Oberlin College in the fall with 24 hours of college credit already completed.
Julie Gonzales, St. Anthony Catholic High School Salutatorian, earned $409,500 in scholarships and performed 250 service hours. She plans to attend Bryn Mawr University in the fall with 14 hours of college credit completed.
Recognized as an International Thespian, Brandon Verkamp, successfully earned $311,000 in college scholarships. He was an active members of the St. Anthony Robotics Team and performed 138 service hours to the community. He will be attending the Colorado School of Mines as a sophomore, with 32 hours of college credit already earned.
Our Lady of the Hills Regional Catholic High School senior, Diana Wahrmund, is already on her way to Texas A&M. She hopes to accomplish her dream of becoming a sports physical therapist.
Aaron Alfaro, from Holy Cross of San Antonio earned an impressive $112,000 in college scholarships, and plans to attend Texas State University.
Antonian College Preparatory High School graduate, Iliana Contreras will be a part of the Fighting Irish through the Notre Dame Holy Cross Gateway Program where she will pursue a degree in pre-medicine.
Providence Catholic School Valedictorian Shivani Patel will attend the University of Texas at Austin’s Red McCombs School of Business in the fall.
These individuals are shining examples of the mission of Catholic High School. Catholic school graduates are confident, faith-oriented individuals who will accomplish extraordinary things throughout their lives. The Class of 2015 are our future leaders in our faith, business and civic communities. Please keep them in your prayers as they continue their journey as missionary disciplines of Jesus Christ.
Christopher P. de Hoyos also contributed to this article.