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Education: FDL youth excel despite pandemic

Students around the world have faced many challenges the past few years, from remote learning to not being able to see loved ones and to canceling high school sports and other activities. High school years can be tough on any student, and the pandemic has further complicated everything in general.

Despite it all, many Fond du Lac youth have demonstrated their ability to adapt to changing environments and remain resilient. This is true for several seniors, including Jezlyn Abramowski, Conner Barney, Justice Paro, and Addison Thompson. These young leaders are a part of the FDL community who possess unique qualities that catapult them in academics and athletics. Abramowski earned a full-ride scholarship to an Ivy League University through the QuestBridge program, which seeks strong academic students who have demonstrated a high level of academic achievement that meets the admissions requirements of their college partners. Typically, these students are in the top 5-10 percent of their class and achieve the highest marks in the most rigorous classes. In 2021, more than 16,500 students applied and only 1,674 finalists were matched with the scholarship's college partners. Abramowski found out earlier this year she matched with Brown University, and will be studying psychology.

Thompson earned a spot in the The Bachelor of Arts/Medical Doctor Joint Admission Scholars program through the University of Minnesota and was accepted into the university's Native American Promise Tuition program. This promising young leader is a hard-working student involved in Link Crew, National Honor Society, Executive Board, Student Council, tennis and basketball. With such a busy schedule, Thompson works hard just to keep everything on schedule, and her hard work has paid off with being accepted into these two prestigious programs.

Barney surpassed major milestones and earned prestigious awards through basketball this year. He ended his high school basketball career with 2,188 points, earned the coveted title of the Border Battle's Most Valuable Player, plays on an elite AAU team, was named first-team Lake Superior Conference All-Conference, and has signed a letter of intent to attend Central Lakes College this fall to play basketball.

Paro, a two-sport athlete, will be going to Bethany College on a full-ride scholarship, and will continue her athletic career.

"It was one of the only colleges that gave me both options for basketball and softball, and I could never really choose between the two sports," Paro said about choosing Bethany College. Paro will be majoring in communications and media arts.