The real test of a high school education is how it plays out afterward. CAN graduates are successful, hardworking, and are making contributions in diverse fields. Here are just a few of the many paths taken by Concept Alumni.

Alumni Spotlight
(Week of May 16, 2016)

Marissa Thomason

Marissa Thomason is a senior at Gateway Science Academy High School (GSA), Class of 2016. Marissa will be graduating on May 24 and taking giant steps into her future career as a CAN alumna. Here is Marissa's responses on her experience at GSA and future goals.

What was the most significant educational aspect of your senior year? Why?
The most significant educational aspect of my senior year was the senior thesis. The senior thesis prepared me to know what college will be looking for when they ask for a thesis.
If there were one thing you could change about the 12th grade, what would it be?
If there was one thing I could change about the 12th grade it would be to offer seniors more opportunities such as having classes that are not required but that we might be interested in like a psychology class.
Which of the last four years was the most challenging?
My junior year was the most challenging because I was taking hard courses and I procrastinated a lot which made it difficult. I should have started thinking about college earlier so my senior year wouldn’t become difficult.
What educational opportunities do you think should be included that were not available in your final year?
A Home Economics class that teaches you how to fill out checks books, cook, look into a mortgage, and just help teach what we will be facing out in the real world besides education. High school prepared me on what I’d see in college and taught me basics, but not how to make huge decisions like what you should be looking for when you buy a house, etc.
To what extent do you feel the school prepared you to meet the challenges of life beyond high school?
School prepared me to take more chances and taught me basic skills that would help me for my future in college.
In what subject areas do you feel best prepared? Least prepared?
Of all four years of high school, English IV has really prepared me by treating us the way we will be treated in college.  I am least prepared in physics.
What is a highlight of your high school experience? Is there something that will stand out, something that you will always remember?
The highlight of my high school year is meeting amazing people and learning things from them, also by having opportunities offered to me.
Is there a project, paper, lab, etc. that you were especially proud of when you completed it?
The senior thesis is a paper that I was proud of when I completed it. I struggled trying to make that thesis perfect and in the end it turned out great.
What is your overall evaluation of your high school experience?
My overall evaluation of my high school experience has been great. I am glad I came to GSA because I learned so much especially by having one-on- one interactions with the teachers when I didn’t understand material. And having teachers involved and caring about your personal life outside of school as well.
If you could change your high school experience, what changes would you make?
If I could change my high school experience I would join more sports and activities and challenge myself by taking more courses that would help me in the future or interest me.
What are your future plans: college, major, career?
I plan on attending to Community College for the first two years to get the general education out of the way so I wouldn’t have a huge financial situation. Then I will go to a four-year university out of Missouri and major in Psychology.
What kinds of activities would you like to pursue in college?
I would like to go into a field hockey club and soccer just to play for fun. Also try new things such as joining more clubs like environmental club or photography club.
What would you like your college experience to be like?
I would like my college experience to be fun and life changing and exciting to meet people who have the same interests.
How would you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as very spirited and hard working. Even when my personal life became rough I still pushed through it. I want to be remembered as someone who has failed in the beginning but has tried hard and accomplished her goals in the end.
Do you have a personal hero? This can be anyone, not necessarily someone famous.
My personal hero would be my big sister, Kaylin. She has been through the same things as I have, probably worse. But she has always been strong. My sister guides me through everything because she does not want me to make the same mistakes as she did.
Anything you have done or experienced of which you are most proud or about which we should be aware?
My personal life outside of school has made high school rough. With everything that was and still going on in my life I am proud of myself that I have stayed stronger than ever and pushed through it. I made a point and showed everyone especially my family that I will make it somewhere. I am thankful to have my teachers and college counselors, my friends, and some of my family members to help me and tell me to focus on myself.

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