JA Alumni share their advice for high school graduates

They’ve received their high school diplomas and are traveling down their individual paths to further education, career success and future happiness. So, what nuggets of knowledge and words of wisdom do JA Inspiration Scholarship recipients have for graduating seniors? Here’s a sampling of their advice.

Mathi Harikrishnan

“Always strive to do things that are past your comfort zone, this is where you will gain a lot of valuable knowledge about what is important to you. “ -Mathivadhani Harikrishnan, Rock Canyon High School Class of 2015

Jaimie Zhu (2)

“The real difference between high school and college is that there really is no “next step” for everyone. Generally, many high schoolers expect to attend college, but then what happens after that? Grad school, working, traveling? It’s up to you to allow yourself the freedom you deserve to explore your options, understanding that you will have questions, and it’s okay to ask them even if it seems like everyone else knows the answer. The big secret is that in reality, no one knows what they’re doing, despite how they may come off. So have fun, take risks, and be unafraid.” -Jaimie Zhu, Fairview High School Class of 2014

Soren Fuchs (2)

“I would advise the new graduates to get involved quickly at their college and keep an eye out for all the free events.” -Soren Fuchs, East High School Class of 2014

Chrystina Cheng

“The only advice I have for 2016 high school graduates is that college is difficult. When it comes to jobs and internships, you have to keep grinding because they are expecting new skills and whatnot because of the new technology. What you thought was good enough to get into college is no longer enough. Always go the extra mile! I haven’t stopped since my junior year in high school, and I am now a sophomore in college. Keep improving yourself by learning new skills.” -Chrystina Cheng, Cherokee Trail High School Class of 2014

Anna Krauss (3)

“No matter where you end up, it is up to you to keep the momentum going. There are incredible opportunities at every school for those with the drive to seek them out. It is one thing to get into and attend college, it is quite another to make connections and get involved! College is such an enriching experience, but it can be easy to become passive and fall into a comfortable routine. From day one sign up for everything and anything; get active in your new community!” -Anna Krauss, George Washington High School Class of 2013

Linda Medina Martinez (2)

“To the 2016 high school graduates, I would like to say to keep an open mind. Don’t stress out about picking a major right away; explore your options. Also, network! Some of the best experiences and opportunities I have had in college are a result of the connections I have made on campus and in the community!” -Linda B. Medina Martinez, Sheridan High School Class of 2013

Shyanne Decker (2)

“If you are a business or marketing student, do not miss out on the life- changing opportunities that Junior Achievement has to offer. It has made a difference in my life; it can make a difference in your life too.” -Shyanne Decker, Mountain Vista High School Class of 2012

Josh Ferge (2)

“My advice for high school graduates is to seek out and do what is hard – going outside your comfort zone is the key to finding success.”-Josh Ferge, Englewood High School Class of 2012

Randi Abels

“My best advice for this graduating class is to focus on making connections in the next four years. Whether it is with your peers, through internships, with faculty, or through more formal networking events, you never know what doors will open and what your path will become with the right people in your corner. Be authentic, be genuine in your interactions, and be bold to search for what your future will become.” -Randi Abels, Cherry Creek High School Class of 2008

Alejandra Nevarez_sized

“My advice to the class of 2016 is to enjoy every second of your senior year! Those are the moments that you will remember. The same goes for your college years; cherish every moment and don’t pass up any promising opportunities. It’s never too early to start an internship or study/volunteer abroad.” -Alejandra Nevarez, Thornton High School Class of 2007