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Everyday challenges make us question who we are. The stories of struggle, diligence, and perseverance get us through. What is your story?



2017 Speakers and Performers

Michaela Sullivan 

Michaela Sullivan is a freshman at McDowell Intermediate High School. She currently takes dance at Dafmark Dance Academy under the direction of Jennifer Dennehy and Dafina Baier. She has preformed at TedX Erie, Mid Day Dance Breaks, Downtown Delites and was a roving preformed at Celebrate Erie. She enjoys volunteering at Erie Homes for Children and Adults. In her free time she enjoys photography and poetry. She plans on pursuing a career in cosmetology and photography.

Scarlett Seneta

Scarlett Seneta is a senior at Northwestern High School who participates in a multitude of activities. Throughout high school, she has participated in volleyball, cross country, basketball, football cheerleading, and baseball managing. She also participated in Mock Trial. Scarlett is an active member of National Honor Society, Student Council, and Future Business Leaders of America. In her free time, Scarlett enjoys coaching basketball and being involved with her church.  Her post-secondary plans include enlistment in the United States Navy Reserves then continuing her education at Boston University, majoring in religion to become a chaplain in the Navy.

Michael Rawlings

Michael Rawlings is a current sophomore at McDowell Intermediate High School. He enjoys Geometry, Science, Writing and History.In his two years in high school, he has been on honor roll and distinctive honor roll. Since he was eight, He has played the electric guitar, and now the piano. He played "Eruption" by Van Halen in his middle school talent show, which opened his eyes to music performance. Michael enjoys classical music, especially from Romantic Era. A believer in optimism, he believes in standing out, critical thinking, and having a positive attitude. His role models range from famous people like Franz Liszt to teachers, friends and family like his mom and Amanda Inscho. Hobbies and things outside of school include attending rock concerts with his father, studying music and the theory of music, and recently writing poetry and literature. He plans to go on to study Music Performance and Composition and study flute under his uncle, Greg McMahon when he reaches adulthood.

Christopher Butler

Christopher Butler is a senior at McDowell High School. Over the past four years, he has been apart of his school's Center for Performing Arts, Track & Field team, Speech & Debate team, Exposure Club, National Honor's Society, and currently is the Editor-in-cheif of the school magazine. Christopher also works as a hip-hop teacher at Marguerite's Academy of Dance. In his free time, he enjoys writing, reading, thinking, and pretending to know how to play piano. Next year, he plans to study journalism either at Emerson College, Syracuse University, or Northeastern University.

Cheyanne Kirsch 

Cheyanne Kirsch is a senior at Northwestern High School. Over the years she has served as a Commanding Officer in the Northwestern Marching Band, Vice President of Student Council, and an officer of Chem Club while participating in International Thespian Society, National Honor Society, and Academic Sports League.  She has also volunteered with Lead & Seed, in her churches choir and bell choir, and as a Sunday School teacher.  She has also done original research and attended the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science(PJAS), the Pennsylvania Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, Creek Connections, and the KidWind state competition.  In May, she will be attending PJAS States at Penn State and KidWind Nationals in California.  Her future plans are to attend Gannon University for two years and then matriculate to LECOM's Pharmacy School to earn her PharmD through a fast track program.  She has accomplished all of this during her journey as a teenage mother. Through mentoring and speaking, Cheyanne hopes to inspire and motivate other's in her situation as well as people fighting their own battle.

Corey Eisert-Wlodarczyk

Corey Eisert-Wlodarczyk is a Junior at McDowell High School. At McDowell he is a member of the Speech and Debate team, Mock Trial team, Exposure Club, National Honor Society, he is a frequent performer in the McDowell Center for the Performing Arts, and  is a Student Ambassador. Outside of school he is a member of the Boy Scouts of America, Lake Erie Youth R.O.A.D Crew, and enjoys performing on the Erie Playhouse stage. Corey enjoys public speaking, reading, and paddle boarding on the lake. After school, Corey hopes to pursue a career as a politician or lawyer. He enjoys volunteering and hopes to spread a wholesome message to those who listen. 

Madeline Johnson

Madeline Johnson is a senior at McDowell High School. Throughout high school, Madeline participated in musical theatre, vocal ensemble, Model United Nations, and exposure club. She is also a member of the National Honors Society. Her passions include art, music, history, and every kind of self expression. In college, she plans to study communications and international relations. Madeline hopes to one day join the Peace Corps and travel.

Nik Khodzhayan

Nik Khodzhayan is currently a sophomore at McDowell Intermediate HIgh School. In her two years at McDowell, Nik has been involved in numerous activities including the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science, and Best Buddies. She is also involved in the McDowell Ambassador program and serves as the secretary of the Student Council. After high school, Nik plans on enlisting in the United States Army to serve as a psychological operations specialist, and furthering her education at Georgetown University.

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