Seven Rock Hill High School graduates returned to their alma mater Friday morning to give advice about life after high school at an event called “Bearcats and Beyond.”
Baron Hicklin, Quan Lindsay, Marcelo Ortiz, Brandon Berger, Sally Southwell, My Nguyen and Jamel Jones shared stories from their lives in college, in the military and in life since leaving high school in recent years.
Berger, a member of the class of 2009 who now works for an insurance company, wasted no time in saying that his fondest memories from high school were the friends he made, including fellow panelist Southwell, class of 2010. The pair are getting married next weekend, he said.
Several other panelists echoed that friends were some of the best aspects of high school. Others also said that the Rock Hill High faculty inspired them to move into their chosen fields of study, like biology and school counseling.
“Hopefully, I can become a science teacher,” said Jones, a York Technical College student studying biology who was inspired by Bobby Stevens, a Rock Hill High science teacher.
The Rock Hill alumni said no matter what students decide to study, they should explore their interests and find something they love.
For My Nguyen, who got his undergraduate degree at UNC Chapel Hill and plans to seek a master’s degree in social work at the University of Pennsylvania, that was women and gender studies. Nguyen was the valedictorian of the class of 2010.
The Bearcats and Beyond program came just two weeks before the end of the school year. Counselor Amanda Daigle said the goal of the program is for students to hear from young alumni who are just “one step ahead” and to gain perspective on how to prepare for life after high school.