Gilbert's Desert Ridge High School will graduate 580 students this year. Students have been awarded $7.3 million in scholarships.
Valedictorian: Emily Ramirez, 4.69
Salutatorian: Michael Cohen, 4.75
Co-Senior Class President: Souksavanh Keovorabouth, 4.23
Co-Senior Class President: Tom Wilkerson, 3.35
Student Body President: Tate Lickfeldt, 3.53
Spirit of Jaguar: Marisa McCormack, 3.82
Emily Ramirez, 18
Desert Ridge High School’s Valedictorian, Emily E. Ramirez, is an involved and compassionate student. She served in her school’s National Honor Society for three years and Spanish Honor Society for two, assisting and directing frequent community fundraisers. Whether at debate tournaments or band music festivals, Emily can always be seen enjoying what she does. She will continue her involvement in helping the community throughout her college and professional career. She plans to attend the University of Arizona this fall where she will major in Biomedical Engineering. She plans to join Doctors Without Borders one day. Born in Phoenix, Emily moved to East Mesa when she was five years old with her parents and has only one sibling, Bianca, who is nine years old. The total amount of scholarship awards is $64,000 from University of Arizona.
Michael Cohen, 18
Born and raised in Mesa. I have a younger sister, Allison, age fifteen. I have received the Arizona State University Presidential Scholarship, at a total of $38,000 and I will be attending the Barrett Honors College at ASU. Currently, my career goals are uncertain but my interests include English, History and possibly law. My hobbies include soccer, (I have played since age 4) playing guitar, reading and spending time with my friends.
Thomas Wilkerson, 18
Hometown: Mesa; lived in Gilbert for 15 years
Born in: Charleston, SC
Scholarship Money Awarded: $1,000 from the University of Arizona
Career Goal: Marketing Executive
Thom has been playing the guitar and bass guitar since the age of 13. Since then, he’s had the pleasure of learning lots of other instruments such as; banjo, piano, drums and the ukulele. This year, Thom has been in the Mr. Desert Ridge contest, Talent Show, Comic Relief and played the role of Kenickie in the drama team’s production of Grease. One of Thom’s greatest priorities is his work at the church and other community service opportunities. In total, he has over 500 hours of community service and through this service has had the chance to meet interesting and unique people. He has volunteered in New Orleans, Grand Junction and this summer will be volunteering in San Francisco.
Souksavanh Keovorabouth, 18
His hometown is on the Navajo reservation, in a town called Chinle, which is in Arizona. He was born at the Indian Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. He has lived in Mesa his whole life but goes back to the reservation to visit.
He has two siblings, an older brother (Rockey) and an older sister (Krystal).
He has received the University of Arizona Wildcat Excellence award in the amount of $20,000 and is also receiving the Navajo Nation Scholarship, which is a total of $28,000.
Career goals: majoring in Architecture, be on the pre-med track and minor in music and sign language. He hopes to become a family physician, build his own practice and teach private music lessons during his free time. If he doesn’t become a physician, then he would like to become an architect.
He is half Navajo and Laos. He has been in four play productions at the high school, elected to student council, been in choir all four years, runs for the cross country team, played volleyball, enjoys taking pictures and volunteering.
Tate Lickfeldt, 18
Hometown is Mesa, where I have lived all my life
I have one sister.
I received a $15,000 scholarship to Arizona State University.
Planning one year at Chandler Gilbert Community College and 3 years at University of California San Diego where he would like to major in Graphic Design.
My goal is to become a graphic designer.
In Student Council both Junior and Senior year, Student Body President for the 2012-2013 school year, marching band drum-line all four years of high school. Had a job for last two years, taking all honors and AP classes. Enjoy driving my car, interested in graphic design and athletic media.
Marisa McCormack, 18
Hometown/birthplace, lived in Mesa 5 years
$56,000 scholarship awards
Going to Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX for pre-med, major in Kinesiology
I am on the swim team and also am Senior Class Vice President