Goodman Community Center | Spotlight on two graduating Goodman teens

Spotlight on two graduating Goodman teens

A pair of high schoolers, Madison La Follette’s Kiara Lillie and Madison East’s Lydia Olson, who have been longtime, dedicated participants graduate June 8

June 6, 2024 |

Kiara Lillie

By Shantrice Solis

As the school year ends, many high school students are preparing for the next chapter of their lives. For Kiara Lillie, a senior at La Follette High School, this transition holds both excitement and apprehension as she embarks on her journey into higher education.

When asked about her post-high school plans, Lillie shared her aspirations with a blend of determination and anticipation.

Kiara Lillie
Kiara Lillie

“I will be attending Madison College to pursue my nursing prerequisites,” she explained. “Afterward, I plan to transfer to Georgia State University, a college I had the opportunity to visit.”

The prospect of starting college brings about a mix of emotions for Lillie.

“I’m a combination of both scared and excited,” she confessed. “It’s a new chapter in my life and I’m growing up.”

Reflecting on her time at Goodman, Kiara expressed gratitude for the support she received from both faculty and peers.

“Going on the college tour motivated me to think about my future,” she recalled. “Goodman and the high school staff taught me the importance of perseverance and believing in myself.”

Throughout her time at Goodman, Kiara was actively involved in various programs, including TEENworks and education enrichment activities.

“Being part of TEENworks in almost every department was a valuable experience,” she shared. “I enjoyed getting to know people and meeting trustworthy adults. The highlight for me was the (historically Black colleges and universities) trip; it was so much fun.”

As she prepares to leave Goodman behind, Kiara acknowledges that she will miss the support system provided by the staff and her peers.

“The encouragement I received here made a significant impact on my journey,” she admitted.

Looking back on her high school experience, Lillie will fondly remember the friendships forged and the camaraderie shared.

“I’ll miss my friends and some teachers,” she said. “And choir — I love singing, so I’ll miss that class the most.”

As Lillie transitions from high school to college, she carries with her the lessons learned and the memories cherished from her time at Goodman. With determination and a spirit of adventure, she embraces the opportunities that lie ahead, ready to carve out her path in the world of higher education.

Lydia Olson

By Shantrice Solis

Lydia Olson, a senior at East High School, is excited and nervous about the next chapter of her life. She plans to attend Madison College and pursue graphic design. While she is looking forward to it, she is also apprehensive about the challenges that lie ahead.

Lydia Olson
Lydia Olson

Olson credits Goodman Community Center for preparing her for the future. She learned valuable job skills and gained work experience, and she feels comfortable working in different settings. She also made some friends and came out of her shell, which made her more expressive now.

During her time at GCC, Olson was involved in the TEENworks program, where she found joy in the camaraderie among staff and the sense of community. She enjoyed the staff, conversations, jokes, all-staff meetings and free food. She felt like she belonged to the community.

As Olson prepares to move forward, she will miss the welcoming environment, the people at Goodman and the stress-free high school atmosphere. However, she is optimistic about the future and grateful for her experiences. She looks forward to embarking on her journey in graphic design at Madison College while cherishing the memories and lessons from her time at Goodman Community Center.

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