Recent Graduates: Where are they now?

Hundreds of people graduate from Lincoln High School every year. Seeing as I’m about to do the same, I wanted to know how last year’s graduates were doing and what their plans were for their future. I managed to sit down with five people from the class of 2022 and see what they had to say.

Zeph Siebler, who attends Yale.

Zeph Siebler was in the IB program during his time at Lincoln High and now goes to Yale University. Siebler describes his time at LHS to overall be a really great experience saying “In most regards, I really made the most of my time, and I struck a good balance between work, play, and rest, a skill which I find many of my college peers lack.” However, Siebler misses connecting to his teachers in the way that he used to. “I can’t make as meaningful a connection with my instructor as when I saw them for an hour five days a week. It doesn’t mean I haven’t made some of those connections, but it’s just been tougher”. All that being said though, Siebler’s life has only been going up from his time in high school  when he describes his time in college as a chance to “pursue my every passion in a very safe space.” He also states that “I’ve also found the sense of community I was feeling a lack of in high school.” Right now, Siebler’s future plans are focused on creative endeavors in college and he hasn’t planned too far beyond that. “My plans don’t extend past the penumbra of undergrad work.” Siebler believes that he’s on the right path to achieve his creative plans because of the institution of Yale. “I’m fortunate to be a part of an institution that not only is one of the best liberal arts educations (I) could ever ask for, but that also caters very specifically to my passions, within and outside of my plans to compose for musical theatre.” In the next five years, he hopes to be working on a show that will go through a theater outside of the Yale campus. “To get there, my only choice is to write and not stop writing until I get capital-B Better, which is a thrilling and terrifying choice I’m so thankful I get to make.”

Susan Montoya Alvis, who attends Morningside University.

Susana Montoya Alvis took mainly on-level and AP classes during her time at Lincoln High, but she participated in our theater program during her time here. She now attends Morningside University. She never had a dull moment at Lincoln High and misses being able to take part in theater after school. She doesn’t think she’s changed too much since her freshman year because her passion for art is still going strong. “I don’t think I’ve changed all that much because I still want to be an artist! I’ve matured and learned a lot from my experiences in and outside of school, however.” Montoya Alvis believes her life has gotten better since high school because of the classes she’s able to take and the respect others show for her. “In college I’m able to take classes I enjoy and wish to actually learn. I’m also treated with more respect since (being) out of high school which gives me lots of motivation!” Montoya Alvis plans on furthering her art and her dream of being a full time artist. She’s currently studying to be an art teacher as well saying “I’d also love to teach and inspire the youth to do art!” In the next five years, Montoya Alvis is looking forward to being able to start living her life. She states “I hope to graduate with a job and an apartment, be able to put food on the table, and still be in my current relationship.”

Jackie Jiminez works for Bryan Health.

The next person I interviewed was Jackie Jiminez who was in the pre-IB program and was the head of scenic crew for theater during her time at Lincoln High and participated in the theater program all four years. She loved her time at Lincoln High School saying “it was amazing and chaotic”. Jiminez misses the theater program because of how fun it was for her and the time she got to spend with friends. Jiminez wishes she worried less about classes and grades and had focused more on the fun and social aspects of her time as an LHS student. She is still in her transition from high school to college and works for Bryan Health as a nurse. Jiminez still finds herself pining after her time in high school, however, saying “I’m just really bored now. I miss being chaotic with my friends.” She’s had some trouble finding her footing in college because she finds herself dropping out before taking the classes. Jiminez hopes to become a midwife in the future. She believes that this goal is very realistic saying “I hope to have at least started a program in college. This is very realistic, but I need to make myself do it.”

Thomas Scott attends UNL.

Thomas Scott currently attends the University of Nebraska Lincoln, but during his time as a high schooler enjoyed the community that came with LHS. “Even a shy kid like freshman me found a place almost immediately and I felt so welcome! The community’s terrific, the faculty is amazing, and I would do it all over again if I could.” Like Jiminez, Scott also misses seeing so many friendly faces every day and finds it hard to connect with people as easily. “ In college, everyone is so categorized and spread out and classes are ginormous so it’s definitely more difficult to make and maintain meaningful connections, but I’m slowly and surely making progress!” In spite of this, college has been treating Scott pretty well saying that he is loving all of the new opportunities presented to him in college. Scott plans on completing his undergraduate studies in Psychology and Biology followed by a PhD in the neuropsychological field. Scott hopes to use this knowledge to become a clinical neuropsychologist. He believes that this is a reasonable bar that he’s set for himself as well stating “My majors are lining me up on the perfect path, I’ve joined a research laboratory that studies traumatic brain injuries, and I’m keeping up with my schoolwork well!”

Syndi Raley is working toward receiving her certificate for drug abuse counseling.

 The last person that I interviewed was Syndi Raley. Raley bounced between LHS and Northeast for a while before graduating with Lincoln High. Raley was part of several theater departments including lighting, makeup, set construction, and even acting. If she could sum up her time at LHS, she would say that it was fun. It goes without saying that she loved the theater department and that it was a source of joy for her. She believes her life has gotten both better and worse since her time in high school saying “Things are going good for me but I do miss feeling like a kid.” She also misses seeing people every day saying “I haven’t’ been seeing people as much (since) graduating.” Raley’s life is just getting started however as she is currently taking a couple online courses to get a certificate in drug abuse counseling from the University of Cincinnati. From there, she plans on going for a degree in psychology. Beyond college, she looks forward to being graduated and living on her own fully with a full time job.

Interviewing these people gave me a good idea for what to expect in my years to come. It showed me that college is full of experiences that I can explore to my heart’s content, but I have to advocate for myself in order to find those experiences. While some people have found their time since high school to be more isolating than they had expected, interviewing these people has restored a sense of excitement in me for what comes next in my life.