Jordan Anderson is ready to graduate.
“I’m ready to experience something new. There’s something bigger and better out there for me,” he said. “I’m ready to face the obstacles that are ahead.”
He is one of 79 seniors ready to walk in Oberlin High School commencement exercises at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 2 at Finney Chapel.
This year’s ceremony will feature keynote speaker Clarence Mingo, who serves as auditor of Franklin County.
A veteran of the U.S. Army, he is also a graduate of Ohio State University and holds a law degree. He has been a child advocate in the court system; represented indigent residents with housing, benefits, bankruptcy, and custody issues; worked on criminal appeals cases; and is now serving a second term as county auditor.
Seven valedictorians will be honored this year, along with big scholarship earners.
Ten seniors from the Class of 2017 earned full rides to college, collectively worth more than $1.5 million.
In total, there were 277 scholarship applications this year by OHS seniors — the second-highest number ever tracked, according to Oberlin Schools college access coordinator Katie Hayes. Half of all graduating seniors sought at least one scholarship.
Anderson is a scholarship winner. He plans to attend Hiram College to major in athletic training and minor in business, and wants to one day open his own gym and physical therapy center.
At Hiram, Anderson will also play receiver for the Terriers football team. He lined up as a receiver and corner for the Phoenix, played basketball, and ran track.
Looking back at his high school career, Anderson said he will most miss his friends and “that brotherhood we built together over the years,” calling out classmates Mark Robinson, Donald Johnson, and Justin Phillips.
He also offered some advice to underclassmen: “Don’t take high school for granted. I did and I had to bring my GPA up.”
Also ready to graduate is Ella Boyer, who will attend Carlton College to study religion and anthropology.
She chatted with us before the OHS senior awards ceremony May 26, talking about her involvement at the Oberlin Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, in drama club (she served as president this year), playing the upright string bass for the Oberlin High School orchestra, early days playing soccer, and being an International Baccalaureate degree candidate.
“I think the art program has been really good for me to develop, both as an art and figuring out who I am and what I want to do,” Boyer said. Painting especially has proven a way to constructively express herself.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.