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Recent Graduates Offer Advice

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While the Academy prepares students for college, the community as a whole remains connected to its alumni. So, how are the recent graduates from the Class of 2017 doing after one semester of college?

Michelle Moufawad is currently enrolled in the University of Notre Dame. She is taking a pre-professional public health science program for freshmen and hopes to become a doctor. Moufawad is enrolled in both biology and chemistry classes. Whenever she “hits a few bumps in the road which can be incredibly frustrating,” Moufawad always remembers what Mr. Jeffrey Klein, Instructor in Science, told her: “Strive for excellence and not perfection.”

When graduates go to college, it is often their first time living away from their parents. Moufawad said it is okay to not be perfect, as long as one has the work effort to “get back up and work harder.” As she strives to be her best, Moufawad advises juniors and seniors at Gilmour to relax and make personal time to relieve stress when applying to colleges. “You’re better off with a clear mind so you can focus on work,” she said, adding that college freshmen need to “take it one day and one class at a time, and what seemed impossible will be possible.”

Mat DiPuccio stands with Michelle Moufawad, the Salutatorian, after graduation.

At the University of Michigan, Mat DiPuccio studies computer science and has already earned his Blooming Market Certification (BMC). Dipuccio credits his parents, teachers, and friends for his growth before college. Dipuccio said, “Gilmour surrounded me with influences that challenged me to present my best self to the world.” Feeling fully prepared, DiPuccio actively seeks challenges and strives to always do his best. Looking back on his high school years, he said, “I would advise the Class of 2018 to value their education, and the knowledge they attain applicable to their future lives.”

KeLynn Ingwer’s advice for current Lancers is similar to what Dipuccio said. She added, “Try hard, do the best you can, and enjoy yourself as much as you can. Take it as an opportunity to try new things and build potential for the future.” Ingwer goes to the University of Rochester and is majoring in animation. As the past president of Cartooning Club while at Gilmour, Ingwer wants to pursue her passion of drawing. She is most proud of all the drawings she has created and how her style has really developed.

Ingwer has also created different films that the university has used for different events. She credits Gilmour for helping her with time management and preparing her to manage the college workload. Ingwer did say through her experience she realized it is important to “make sure that you don’t take on more than you can handle. Give yourself an adjustment period, especially take this into account if you plan to get a job.”

Nupur Goel, the Class of 2017’s Valedictorian,  is focusing her college studies on medicine. She attends the Northeast Ohio Medical University through Akron University. As a freshman, she is also taking OCHEM and is working very hard to chase her dreams. She thanks her mother, Dr. Neena Goel, Instructor in Science, and other teachers like Dr. Jeff Vaughn Instructor in Social Studies, Mrs. Gay Janis, Director of Speech and Drama, Mrs. Mary Merkel, Instructor in Mathematics, Mr. Richard Grejtak Instructor in English, and Mr. Rick Doringo, Instructor in Social Studies, for helping her break through whatever “ceilings” that she or others put in front of her.

Nupur Goel accepts the trophy for being Valedictorian of the Class of 2017.

Goel said that Gilmour taught her to “think critically and not be afraid to voice [her] opinions and thoughts.” She also gives the Academy credit for shaping her work ethic to the strength it is today. If the students at Gilmour had to take away one thing, Goel said, it would be “…to find something worth fighting for, and chase it nonstop. The world needs people that are creative, empathetic, and willing to fight for the things they hold near and dear. No matter where you go for college and beyond, never forget what you are fighting for.”