Highlighting the evening’s events was a farewell address by the Group XIV Valedictorian Chrystal Okonta of Notre Dame Academy; a keynote presentation by banker Craig Teamer, EXCEL Group II valedictorian; a salute to parents by Laticia Villarreal of Group XIV and the induction of eighth graders into Group XVIII.
Toledo EXCEL is a scholarship incentive program at UT that strives to involve students of underrepresented minorities—African-American, Asian, Appalachian, Latino, and Native American—in pre-college academic and extracurricular pursuits to increase self-esteem, cultural awareness and civic involvement.
The program was founded in 1988 by Helen Cooks, Ph.D., and, to date, more 600 students have completed EXCEL. Most have enrolled at UT but more than 92 percent have gone onto an institution of higher education.
This year’s graduates also included: Justin Gilmore of Rogers High School, salutatorian, Bailee Alexander of Rogers, Phillip Anderson of St. Francis de Sales, Kendra Barnes of Scott High School, Raymond Caldwell of Central High School, Lyntoya Carson of Rogers, Chloe Carter of St. Ursula Academy, Brittany Cordray of Whitmer High School, Marcella Cruz of Whitmer, Laurel Daniels of Emmanuel Baptist High School, Kenyatta Davis of Scott, Autumn Dominguez of Waite High School, Natalie Domitio of Central, Tyrica Duff of the Toledo Technology Academy, Daniel Ferguson of Springfield High School, Carey Fisher of St. Francis, Deshawna Fuller of Bowsher High School, Barbetta Griswold of Rogers, Nouha Hassan of Whitmer, Ahmed Hegazy of Bowsher, Elisa Hickman of Start High School, Amanda Hill of Whitmer, Gabrielle Hill of Rogers, Markesa Huggins of Rogers, Ryan Johnson of Libbey High School, Alisha Jones of Bowsher, Carlotta Jung of Rogers, Tryna Jung of Start, Raina Leroux of Bowsher, Jerry Marsenburg of Scott, Cornelious Mitchell of Central, Antoine Moore of Toledo Technology Academy, Zonta Moore of Toledo Technology Academy, Hussain Moussa of Toledo Technology Academy, Asia Murphy of Start, Felicia Mysinger of Waite, Charles Phillips of St. Francis, Amanda Plewa of Bowsher, Laura Rodriguez of Springfield, Charmaine Scott of Bowsher, Monty Simon of Whitmer, Alan Smith of Toledo Technology Academy, Natasha Smith of Rogers, Suzannah Sohnly of Cardinal Stritch High School, Charon Spruce of Start, Jacqueline Turner of the Toledo School for the Arts, Justin West of Start, Nathaniel Wilson of St. Francis, Mina Womack of Central and Pamela Zeigler of Emmanuel.