Amidst the excitement of graduation, many high school seniors are getting ready to graduate right now. In this series of interviews, we engage with a group of graduating seniors who have redefined the traditional notions of achievement and embarked on paths driven by purpose, determination and passion.
They have dedicated years of hard work, determination, and sacrifice to achieve the highest academic honors in their graduating class. However, their journey is not just about earning a high GPA, but it’s about the lessons they have learned, the challenges they have faced, and the impact they have made on their school and community. In this interview, we will explore the inspiring journey of a K-12 graduating seniors and the lessons they can share to inspire others. We share this with Aidan Rossi from John F. Kennedy Catholic School located in Warren, Ohio.
Name: Aidan Rossi
School: John F. Kennedy Catholic School
Bio: Adian is a student-athlete and the youngest of his family of six. He is graduating this spring and plans to attend the University of Alabama to study finance this fall.
What inspired you to strive for academic excellence, and how did you maintain your motivation throughout your academic journey?
I was lucky enough to have three older brothers who modeled to me what it meant to not only be a great student, but also a great person. Additionally, I have been fortunate to have a tremendous group of friends around me who have supported and pushed me to be the best version of myself.
What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them to achieve your goals?
The Covid-19 pandemic was a major challenge that I, and so many others around the world, had to overcome. Learning online, five days a week, took a toll on both the mental and physical health of so many. Being able to have my parents support me every step of the way during unprecedented times was something that I will never forget and I am truly thankful for. Understanding that one day I would be back in the classroom pushed me to keep working hard and chase my dreams.
Can you share with us a specific moment or experience that impacted your academic journey?
Once again, the Covid-19 pandemic was an experience that shaped my academic journey. This experience taught me that sometimes life does not go our way, and to see better days we must get through the hard ones. This experience showed me that no matter the circumstances I had to give my all.
How did you balance your academic responsibilities with extracurricular activities and social life (if applicable)?
As a student-athlete, I could not have dreamed of a better high school career. I played in three state championships and maintained a 4.35 GPA. Balancing these athletics with strong academics was often a challenge and caused me to set priorities in my life. Balancing all of these things at once took a lot of late nights and time management, but I would trade my memoires for anything.
Can you talk about a teacher, mentor, or family member who had a significant impact on your academic success?
In my high school career, I have had so many people who have been role models to me. Of course, my parents and brothers played a massive role in shaping me into who I am today. The teachers at Kennedy are second to none and am so lucky to be able to learn from them. However, I would be remiss if I did not mention Mrs. Consiglio and Mrs. Phillips specifically. This year they were in a new role for me as teachers of our student news class. The lessons and ways of handling different situations will forever stick with me and affect me in the future. They truly care about their students and I can say with 100% certainty that they are behind what makes JFK, JFK.
How did your school support and encourage academic excellence, and what role did it play in your journey?
I always had teachers, faculty, and administration supporting me and helping me. On so many occasions teachers stay after school to help a struggling student. Or take time out of their day to make another homework sheet for a student who needed more practice. I oftentimes did not understand certain topics and would ask for extra help, and the teachers provided it with no questions asked. I am forever thankful to them for all they do.
Can you share with us any research, projects, or community service experiences that you have undertaken during your academic journey?
Over my four years in high school, I have been involved with the church as a member of the youth group and I also am a eucharistic minister regularly at mass. Additionally, I have participated in the Rise for Hunger service project and the American Red Cross blood drives.
How did you manage stress and maintain a healthy work-life balance during your academic journey?
It is no secret high school is stressful for so many because they are doing so much multitasking. For me, I always found it helpful to step back and enjoy myself. I found that sometimes worrying less and finding comfort in friends and family helps tremendously.
What advice would you give to students who are struggling academically or are feeling discouraged?
Everybody struggles. No matter who you are, no matter how smart you are, there are going to be hardships. Ask for help when you need it and don’t allow yourself to get down.
How do you plan to use your academic success to make a positive impact on the world?
I hope that one day I am able to give back to my community in any way possible. Hopefully, whatever job I end up with someday I am able to make a positive impact and just some people and make a difference.
Who is your role model and Why?
My parents are my role models. Throughout their life, they have had their fair share of struggles, but somehow always kept my brothers and me at the forefront of whatever they did. They have sacrificed so much for us and set such a great example to me of what parents should be.
If there was one person that you would like to meet, past or present and why?
I would love to meet Albert Einstein. Just hearing about him in history books makes him seem so different and relatable.
A favorite quote by which you live.
In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.
The journey of a K-12 is not just about achieving high academic honors but about the lessons they have learned, the challenges they have overcome, and the impact they have made on their school and community. By sharing their story, they can inspire others to strive for excellence, persevere in the face of challenges, and make a positive impact on the world. We hope this article has provided valuable insights into the inspiring journey of a K-12 and the lessons they can share to inspire others.