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WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
The valedictorians of Reeths-Puffer High School compete annually for the Thomas and Geraldine Seyferth Scholarship; a $20,000 award given by the Community Foundation for Muskegon County to the highest performing student in Muskegon County. Since 2002, three Reeths-Puffer graduates have claimed this scholarship. Since 1999, 14 Reeths-Puffer High School graduates have been awarded one of the three top scholarships from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County: Thomas and Geraldine Seyferth Scholarship, Fred T. and Gladys V. Hawley Scholarship ($10,000) and the Ernest D. Moylan Scholarship ($5,000).
The following section highlights the accomplishments of some of our recent valedictorians since leaving Reeths-Puffer High School.
James Cooper, winner of the Thomas and Geraldine Seyferth Scholarship, graduated Valedictorian of the Reeths-Puffer High School Class of 2007. He is in his first year at the University of Michigan and will most likely graduate in 2011. Jim is technically a sophomore due to AP/MCC credits, but will be at U-M for four years to finish his major(s). Next fall, Jim is going to start a three-year major program at Michigan's renowned business school with a focus on finance. This Bachelor's of Business Administration program will be his primary focus during his time in Ann Arbor. Jim was able to transfer in twenty-nine credits from high school, and since this creates flexibility in course scheduling, he may also get a degree in financial mathematics from the Literature, Science, and Arts college.
Jim is a part of U-M's club running team and has run six races throughout Michigan and Indiana. The team was the national runner-up in club cross country last fall. Jim states, "high school athletics was a great way to get started with competitive running, but I'm in far better shape now that I have so much direction over my own training and surrounded by a team of extremely talented athletes." Jim is considering running a marathon this summer and thus has been upping his mileage.
Jim is also a part of Michigan Interactive Investments. Members contribute $100 at the beginning of the year and work together to make investment decisions. The club has never had a down year since being founded in the nineties and it was even profitable during the 2000-2002 recession.
This winter, Jim participated in a Dance Marathon raising $300 to support pediatric rehabilitation at a children's hospital in Ann Arbor; the club overall raised $428k this year. They finished the year by standing and "dancing" for thirty continuous hours during a weekend in March.
Jim has an internship with Wachovia Securities in Grand Rapids lined up for this summer. He will be doing marketing and market research for a stockbroker. If things go well at the internship, he's hoping to lock in a slot as a Wall Street- or Chicago-based intern for the summer of 2009.
After undergrad, Jim plans to work on Wall Street as an investment banker or stockbroker. Jim says it is possible that he'll return to college, "hopefully an Ivy League place," for an MBA or a JD focusing on securities law. Jim hopes to be able to take a few months off to travel between graduation and the beginning of his career. "I'd like to see all the continents (besides Antarctica) during a month-long trip, since it may be my only opportunity to ever do something like this."
Bradley Schecter, winner of the Fred T. and Gladys V. Hawley Scholarship, graduated Valedictorian of the Reeths-Puffer High School Class of 2006. Today, Brad is a sophomore at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. He is a double major in Political Science and International Studies.
Brad works on the Center for Security and Foreign Policy of the Roosevelt Institution at Yale. This is the nation's first think-tank run entirely by students; students research and try to enact international projects that make a lasting impact on the ground. Currently, they are working on a sort of debate/mock-parliament curriculum for Kenyan public schools. Brad is also on the business and events staff for The Yale Globalist, a student-published, quarterly international affairs magazine, and a member of the Yale Political Union and Yale College Democrats.
Brad has also had a chance to do some community service work in New Haven, mostly volunteering at a local "book bank" that collects and distributes free books to the community, and also engages in tutoring for children and adults.
This summer, Brad will be working as an intern at the Association for Civil Rights, a non-governmental and non-partisan advocacy group, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The organization is dedicated to creating a more positive political, legal, and social culture in Argentina. He will be a researcher on their right-to-education project team. There are several Yale students working in different positions in Buenos Aires, and they will be living and exploring the country together.
After undergrad, Brad plans to either go straight to law school, or do so after a few years off, during which he may do some kind of nonprofit work, or perhaps government civil service. At law school, he plans to concentrate on international and human/civil rights law, and is hoping to pursue a career in one of those areas afterward.
Daniel Bedoya, winner of the Thomas and Geraldine Seyferth Scholarship, graduated Valedictorian of the Reeths-Puffer High School Class of 2004. In April of this year, Dan graduated with honors with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan. He will begin a graduate program in Industrial and Operations Engineering next fall at U of M and plans to graduate with a Master's of Science Degree in April, 2009.
Dan is a member of the U of M Varsity Track and Field Team and competes in the hammer throw, discus and 35 pound indoor weight throw. He threw the indoor weight 60'1", which places him fifth on U of M's all time list and earned 9th place at the Big Ten Championships. He threw the hammer 181'6", which ranked sixth all time at U of M. He has a year of eligibility left for next year and hopes to win a Big Ten Championship and compete at a national level.
Dan is a member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, a national organization of Industrial Engineers. He has also been a College of Engineering Mentor and volunteers time at the Mott Children's Hospital.
Last summer, Dan interned at Rolls-Royce Corporation in Indianapolis, IN. Rolls-Royce is an aerospace company who has related businesses in the defense aerospace, marine and energy markets. He worked with the New Product Introduction team, that specialized in engines that were new to production or planned for future production.
This year, Dan will be a College Student Technical Senior Specialist at Lockheed Martin in Moorestown, NJ. Lockheed Martin is a leading multinational aerospace manufacturer and advanced technology company. Dan will be part of the Operations Collegiate Development Program, which helps prepare students for leadership and management.
After Dan's graduate studies next year, he plans to work full time for a few years before returning to school to obtain an M.B.A.