The RISE Postsecondary Success team partners with CT high schools to ensure that all students graduate on time and complete milestones for their identified postsecondary plans. Throughout the month of June, we will be celebrating the accomplishments of graduating seniors in our core network schools. Their dedication, hard work, and resilience have led them to this important goal. Congratulations to the class of 2023!
Today, we are sharing an interview with Edrik Morales Rosa (above, left) and Yuliana Gonzalez Perez (above, right), from Platt High School in Meriden.
What is your plan, after you graduate high school?
Edrik: I will be attending UCONN in the Fall, majoring in Chemistry, and following the Pre-med pathway.
Yuliana: I will also be attending UCONN, majoring in Allied Health Science.
Have you received any scholarships or special acknowledgments?
Edrik: I am the 2023 Platt HS Valedictorian. I received the Ray Southland Memorial Scholarship, Presidential Merit Scholarship, Yale Book Award, Michael’s Jewelers Award, Platt Bibliophile, Seal Of Biliteracy (Italian), and CNA Certification. I am also a National Honor Society Member.
Yuliana: I am the Platt Salutatorian. I received the Cuno Foundation scholarship, Hispanic American Cultural Council scholarship, Chet Advance scholarship, Presidential scholarship, Smith Book Award, Michael’s Jewelers Award, Seal of Biliteracy (Spanish), and CNA certification.
What support did you receive to help you form your postsecondary plan?
Edrik: I took advantage of many activities, including Summer Academy, FAFSA workshops, Why Apply Day, CNA Certification Program, Anti-Malaria Research Program, Skills USA, and Senior Signing Day.
Yuliana: I participated in Upward Bound Math & Science, Summer Academy, FAFSA workshops, Why Apply Day, and Senior Signing Day. I also utilized the Platt Career Center and was supported by Mrs. Cruz.
What advice would you give to a rising senior? What resources or support should they take advantage of?
Edrik: Always be curious. Never be fearful of asking the wrong questions or the right questions because there is no such thing. Knowledge is a tool that needs to be taken advantage of so never fear gaining more of it. Communicating with teachers when you need help is essential and a great resource. There is always time after and during school to ask teachers questions when you need help and also to form interpersonal relationships with them. Some school staff who helped me were Mrs. Cruz in the Career Center, Counselors Mrs. Melnik and Mrs. Ervin, and Secretaries Mrs. Scarfo and Mrs. Barillaro.
Yuliana: It takes time to see results so grit is an important characteristic to have in order to succeed. I received help from Mrs. Cruz in the Career Center and Counselor Mrs. Wziontko. The Upward Bound Math & Science program was a great resource, especially as a first-generation student, that helped me explore colleges and stay on top of my obligations as a senior.
What are you most proud of, as you look back on your high school experience?
Edrik: I am most proud of how my drive developed throughout high school. I feel that I lacked that ability during the first two years. As I began to progress throughout my junior and senior years, I learned how powerful drive and focus can be. This allowed me to get involved in clubs and extracurriculars, including Skills USA, the Anti-Malaria Research program, and the National Honor Society. I want to expand my outreach more as I progress into college, involving myself in more research projects and extracurriculars. My drive and passion allow me to be sure of where I’m going and where I’m heading in the future, which is only up.
Yuliana: I am most proud of how involved I was throughout high school. During my freshman year, I volunteered at The Bradley Home, and during my sophomore and junior years, I volunteered at Midstate Medical Center. Throughout my four years of high school, I was enrolled In Upward Bound Math & Science, and during my senior year, I took on the role of vice president for the National Honor Society. While taking on these activities I was able to maintain all A’s and I grew a lot as a person.
What are you most looking forward to, as you look ahead to the future?
Edrik: I am looking forward to working in the surgical room. My dream has been and will always be to work on the treatment of patients. I want to have the chance to help others because doing so is what helps me continue every day. I want to show the world what the Latino Community is capable of, and I can do that once I make it in that room.
Yuliana: I am looking forward to growing even more as a person throughout my four years in college and discovering different passions while concurrently learning more about the healthcare field.