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OneGoal Fellow Shares Hopeful Message Amid Uncertainty

By Chloe Lahre
April 23, 2020

We’re introducing a new series: Forward Together. There’s no doubt COVID-19 has rocked our communities. Our students and their families are some of the hardest hit during this global pandemic. In addition to losing valuable in-school learning, our Fellows are having to reimagine the celebration of special milestones like their high school graduation, prom, college signing day, and senior season of athletics. Here’s one such story from Micheal Wiley, a graduating senior at Catalyst Maria High School in Chicago.

Micheal wants to be a nurse. He has a full-ride scholarship to attend Adrian College in Michigan this fall and it’s inspiring to hear him talk about his future, especially during our current health crisis.

“I want to be a nurse so that I can help people,” he said. “I’ve always been interested in health. My family has some problems, and I want to help them understand how to be healthier.”

Micheal’s senior year of high school has been cut short by school closures, but he remains optimistic.

“I’m dealing with this the only way possible – I’m staying home until this blows over and talking with my friends to help me stay sane,” he said.

In the meantime, Micheal’s OneGoal Program Director Mark Lenz is still showing up for him and his classmates virtually.

“Mr. Lenz has been texting our class to ask if we’re okay, and he’s still supporting us to make sure our financial aid is straight. He always says that if we need to talk, just let him know and he’ll be there on phone or video.”

When asked what he likes the most about Mr. Lenz, Micheal said, “He is always there supporting us, helping us, and finding ways for us to better ourselves as people and better the things around us. When we complain about how things don’t work, he pushes us to find more solutions than problems.”

“I’m dealing with this the only way possible – I’m staying home until this blows over and talking with my friends to help me stay sane.”

As for the remainder of the school year and beyond, Micheal has a message for everyone: Keep supporting the high school Class of 2020.

“This year meant a lot to us, we wanted to make great memories of high school before having to become adults,” he shared. “Now, we’re isolated from our friends and we aren’t used to that because we like being around people and expressing ourselves. Stick around, don’t forget about us, we really do need you.”

Want to support Fellows like Micheal? Click here to donate to OneGoal.

MORE: Chicago, Fellows