In the final installment of our four-part graduation season miniseries, we asked nine members of the high school Class of 2020 (and one from Academy High’s senior-less Class of ’21): What are the top three items on your 10-year bucket list?

B10 nevaeh smith



1. Become a high school music teacher. I play the viola and I would love to be able to teach and guide kids to become better musicians.

2. Travel out of the country. I would really like to go to Japan because I think the culture is really interesting and would love to experience it.

3. Perform in a famous orchestra. I enjoy playing my instrument and to be able to experience a huge performance like this would be a dream come true.

B10 Laura Poetzel


Judah Christian

1. Travel to Spain and backpack the entire Camino de Santiago.

2. Intern with the International Justice Missions and befriend and defend peoples of different cultures.

3. Be the type of person who does things — not only studies or thinks about them — and who loves deeply.

B10 austin piercy


Villa Grove

1. Get my start in news broadcasting, working as a head anchor for CBS. I plan on using my personality to make the news fun and engaging.

2. Take over ‘The Tonight Show’ at Rockefeller Center for Jimmy Fallon.

3. Travel abroad, specifically to Italy, to visit my good friend from high school — former foreign exchange student Irene Bruschi.

B10 Kelsie Kaufman



1. Graduate college with a bachelor’s in nursing and an RN license to work in emergency care to then extend into being a nurse practitioner.

2. Travel to as many places as possible. I would love to go back to Italy and Greece. ‘When in Rome,’ (Buongiorno) maybe I will revisit Trevi Fountain and find my forever love, and while in Greece maybe we will dance around tables during Greek Night. Opa!

3. Learn Spanish and sign language to be able to communicate with patients and others.

B10 joanna walder


Hoopeston Area

1. Get a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

2. Teach fifth grade at John Greer Grade School in Hoopeston.

3.Serve God every day.

B10 ryan pinto


St. Thomas More

1. While at the University of Illinois, I plan on double majoring in biology and history. My biggest goal for my time at the university is to research alongside a professor in hopes of publishing work in a specific area of molecular and cellular biology such as molecular immunology or drug discovery.

2. Go sky-diving. I feel like it’ll be a super thrilling experience, and I’d most want to sky-dive in the Himalayas. Nowhere else seems as exhilarating as the world’s highest peak.

3. Become an emergency medicine resident. I’ve been interested in a career in the medical field for a long time, and last summer I completed an EMT course at Parkland College to get a more realistic view of the medical community. Through my clinical experiences on ambulances and in the ER, I knew that the medical field was the right one for me, and I grew an immense interest in emergency medicine, specifically.

B10 payne turney



1. Go to Greece and reenact every ‘Mamma Mia’ song.

2. Visit every national park. I would love to be outside in all different types of ecosystem to either hike, kayak, swim or go for a run.

3. Turn my favorite songs into mixtapes and create the ultimate road trip playlist.

B10 lia potter



1. Climb every stair up the Eiffel Tower.

2. Save someone’s life.

3. Eat pigs in a blanket … in a blanket.

B10 ashley francis



1. Go to Washington, D.C., and visit the White House and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

2. Get an internship at the State Capitol.

3. See the State of the Union address in person.

B10 briana ballard


Academy High

1. Travel around the United States volunteering with non-profit organizations in order to help the environment and those in the community.

2. Become fluent in Spanish, then travel to Spanish-speaking countries and fully immerse myself in the culture and daily life.

3. Get a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, so I can teach kids in the community how to eat healthier and more sustainably with what they have access to.


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