The Eden Prairie High School Class of 2019 commenced Friday, June 7, at the 3M Arena at Mariucci on the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus. The senior class is full of academics, athletes, artists, activists and more; here are profiles from three among their ranks. The staff of the Eden Prairie Sun Current sincerely congratulates every member of the Class of 2019, and wishes each of them the best in their future endeavors.

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Brooke Lewis

- How does it feel to be at the end of your high school journey?

It is the most bizarre, bittersweet feeling. High school has treated me very well and I have loved every part of it including all of my activities, sports, teammates, and friends. With that being said, I am also very excited to not be in high school anymore and start a new, exciting chapter of my life!

- What are you passionate about?

I have a lot of passions, but I was selected as the ‘“sports” featured student. I play lacrosse, basketball and tennis and have been fortunate enough to play on the varsity teams for five, four and three years (respectively).

Currently, my sporting career is coming to a close as I am in my final lacrosse season, and it is very odd saying goodbye to a part of my life that has consumed thousands and thousands of hours (practices, tournaments, training, workouts, etc.)

Although one may look at the amount of time I have spent in these sports and think I am crazy, I don’t regret one hour I have devoted. I have learned so much from my sports and have formed friendships that will last far beyond high school. There is something to be said about working hard not for yourself but for the person next to you, and seeing a team grow together because of this. This feeling will be something that I will miss in college, but I am also extremely excited to do many intramurals and actually work out on my own!

- How/when did you start pursuing that passion?

I have been playing sports from as early as I can remember. I wouldn’t be surprised if I came out of the womb in a ponytail and sneakers! I tried almost every sport imaginable, including boys baseball and tackle football, and I settled on basketball lacrosse and tennis in high school.

- How did that passion develop over time? How were you supported in developing it at EPHS?

I have always felt supported by the staff at EPHS when following my passions.

- Are there mentors you want to recognize at EPHS?

I have many mentors throughout my time at EPHS including older, more talented teammates and my coaches.

- What have you valued most about your time at EPHS? What will you remember?

I will remember the connections that I have made with classmates and the relationships I have made with my teachers and faculty.

- What are your plans for next year?

I will be attending UCLA as a math major on the pre-med track.

- How do you plan to continue developing your passion?

I will be coaching a lacrosse team this summer and plan to stay active and enjoy competitive activities in college. Maybe I’ll join the club lacrosse team at UCLA.

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Khalid Qasim

- How does it feel to be at the end of your high school journey?

My feelings surrounding my imminent graduation have been a relatively mixed set of emotions best characterized by gratitude for the present and optimism for the future. I’m eternally thankful for the unforgettable opportunities, people, and memories high school has provided me, however, the future seems promising.

To be completely frank, high school is merely a small fraction of your life. Although tremendous growth has been made over these past four years, Life is more than four years and extends past the confines of a high school classroom. We live in a world of opportunity. There are people to meet, places to go, and things to do.

- What are you passionate about?

I’m extremely passionate about exceeding both academically and professionally, however, I believe my interest in success hold an unconventional origin. Although wealth, knowledge, and opportunity are all desirable, they are not the greatest motive behind my drive.

Instead, the greatest driver behind my passion to succeed is “beating the odds” and demonstrating that the achievement gap is merely social construct perpetuated by society believe in it. We live in a world of inequality. I would like my life to serve as a small footstep towards further creating an equitable world free of any barriers posed by race or socioeconomic status.

- How/when did you start pursuing that passion?

I have been passionate about this for as long as I could remember.

- How did that passion develop over time? How were you supported in developing it at EPHS?

EPHS has supported the development of my passion tremendously through its provision of academic resources, as well as through its belief in the potential of its students. EPHS has also supported me in leading our local, cost-free tutoring organization TRACE. TRACE has allowed my passion to thrive as it provided a medium to remove barriers surrounding academic success

- Are there mentors you want to recognize at EPHS?

Throughout my time at EPHS, I have been provided guidance from many fantastic individuals, however, I would like to give special recognition to Jeremy Miller. Jeremy has taught me a variety of things ranging from life advice to professional development, however, the greatest thing he has taught me was the true meaning of empathy. He is the most understanding person I know, and he has ultimately given me tremendous insight into a skill frequently neglected.

- What have you valued most about your time at EPHS? What will you remember?

The most memorable and valuable aspect of my time at EPHS is definitely the people. Over the past four years, I have been surrounded by an unforgettable group of individuals who have played a major role in shaping me into the individual I am today.

- What are your plans for next year?

Next year I will be studying computer science and business management at the University of Minnesota. This summer, I will also be an information technology intern at Bank of America.

- How do you plan to continue developing your passion?

Continuing to work hard and succeed.

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Maggie Kerin

- How does it feel to be at the end of your high school journey?

Being at the end of my high school journey has me feeling a mix of emotions. I feel happy and excited to go to college and become independent. The past four years have been to prepare me for the next part of my life but it hasn’t prepared me to say goodbye to my good friends and the sadness of leaving.

- What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about social change and working with people. I lead the Gender and Sexuality Alliance at Eden Prairie High School. I am also part of the band and the Eagle Marching Band. Being a senior has lead me to be able to work and connect with so many people, all of them passionate about creating and teamwork. I was able to develop so many friendships and lead the next generation of students.

- How/when did you start pursuing that passion?

I first started pursuing this passion when I took the class “Middle East Crisis and Conflict.” That is where I learned in depth about the issues and wars that have plagued the Middle Eastern countries for decades. I also learned about different people’s stories that what is portrayed in the media. The class was mostly open discussions about current topics and learning about humanitarian issues.

This sparked a different part of my learning. Suddenly class wasn’t just a lecture on a single important person in a movement. It became a discussion about how movements affect entire countries, people’s lifestyles and beliefs. It opened my world view so much more than any class ever had.

- How did that passion develop over time? How were you supported in developing it at EPHS?

My passion developed into multiple leadership positions and opportunities. I was supported by multiple teachers who believed in my ability to create, lead and work with others and friends who wanted to help with my endeavors.

- Are there mentors you want to recognize at EPHS?

My freshman year English teacher Mrs. Strampe, she encouraged my curious and creative ideas. She let us chose and create what we wanted while working with different people to reach a goal.

- What have you valued most about your time at EPHS? What will you remember?

What I value most about EPHS is the community. At EPHS, the barriers between clubs and activities aren’t there. There is no conflict between the football team and the band. The robotics kids and theater kids are one and the same. We are just one supportive community.

- What are your plans for next year?

I plan to study at the University of Vermont in the College of Arts and Sciences.

- How do you plan to continue developing your passion?

I plan to study and learn about different cultures and how to become a leader outside of school.

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