Andrea Riffe

This summer, Andrea Riffe. St. Paul, MN, will pursue a license in Early Childhood and Special Education services (ECSE) at the University of St. Thomas Department of Education in St. Paul.  She currently works with the deaf and hard of hearing students in Minneapolis School District 196, K-12, which serves Apple Valley, Eagan, and Rosemount, MN.  Andrea is the daughter of William (Bill) and Judy Andrea Lewis.  Andrea wrote:

I have seen firsthand the difference in children and families who have received Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) services.  In the world of the deaf/hard of hearing, the birth to 4 level is not only about providing direct services to the child; a large part of early intervention is educating parents and family members.  This encourages consistency between school and home in order for the child to succeed to their fullest potential.  An ECSE license would benefit me as a special education provider so that I can contribute to advancing communication skills, social skills, and academic knowledge in our youngest learners.

Blake Ripley

Brandon Foster, Eugene OR, is a freshman at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA studying Theater and Computer Science.  He is the son of Coby and Julie (Durand) Foster.

I was drawn to the school (Pacific Luther University) by its wonderful music and theater programs, both strong passions of mine.  I am very excited to be taking theater courses in college and to learn more about the craft and, of course, perform in shows.  Along with the theater courses which make up the majority of my college curriculum, I have also been taking computer science courses with plans to work towards a computer science minor.  While quite a departure from the theatrical world, computer science is another area I am extremely interested in and can see as a potential career.

Kaylee Peck

Kaylee Peck of Duluth, MN is a sophomore studying Early Childhood Education at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.  She is the daughter of Justin and Jody Peck.

In the past year, I was nominated as one of Duluth, Minnesota’s Women of the Year, appointed as editor-in-chief for my school’s yearbook, concluded my final year as president of National Honors Society, graduated third in my class with academic honors, assistant-directed and served as the dance captain for a Junior Intensive theater program at the Duluth Playhouse, managed my first college production, started volunteering at a preschool, and was accepted to be a Welcome Week Leader for my college this fall.  When I volunteered at the pre-school on campus, I realized that my heart was drawn to working with the little ones.  I am currently… changing my major to Early Childhood Education which will allow me to become a licensed educator for ages birth to third grade.  I plan to graduate in 2023 as a licensed preschool teacher.

Blake Ripley

Blake Ripley, Waunakee, WI, wrote that he is interested in the relationship between real estate, communities, and the environment, and aims to enhance this relationship in his career. Blake will be a senior at UW-Madison, studying finance and real estate.  He is the son of William (Bill) Ripley and Jennifer (Jenny) Ripley.

My involvement on campus this year has included the Real Estate Club, Club Hockey Club, and volunteering weekly at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center.  I will be interning at Ryan Companies in Minneapolis as a capital markets intern.  I hope to use this experience along with what I have learned in class at UW-Madison to start a career in real estate post-graduation.

Kayleigh Ripley

Kayleigh Ripley of Chippewa Falls, WI, will enter the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN as a freshman and will study biochemistry.  She is the daughter of Gerald (Jerry) and Ingrid Ripley.

I plan on majoring in biochemistry … and hope to one day become a doctor, do medical research, or both.  My goal in life is to make the world a better place and I feel I can do that by going into the medical field.  I am on my (high school) math team, a member of the National Honor Society and valedictorian of my class.  I love theater and singing and had the lead role of Sarah Brown in our school’s production of “Guys and Dolls.”  I am an avid golfer and have made it to golf sectionals three years in a row and made second team all-conference this past fall.