Finishing On Top

Corcoran High School seniors reflect on a successful four years

Graduation is only a semester away, and the following six Corcoran High School students are on their way to graduating at the top of their class with full International Baccalaureate diplomas. They talk about what has inspired them during high school, and share their plans for the future.

Mya Edwards-Kleist


Age: 17

GPA: 4.0

Interests: Science, music, singing, musical theater, tennis, reading vampire books and listening to music.

Extracurricular activities: Involved with musical theater since sixth grade (currently working on “Bye Bye Birdie”).

Favorite subject: Chemistry. “I love the opportunity that science presents. There is always more science to be discovered, and I want to be the one who discovers it. I want to find cures and get into medicine.”

Motivation: “The concept of success has motivated me. It gives me good feelings to get a paper back that says 100 and to know that I am doing something with myself and that I am going to be doing something with myself in the future. My mom has also always pushed me to do better. She has pushed me to greatness and always provides emotional support when it gets too stressful.”

Goals for the future: “I really hope to get into Cornell University. It is my dream school. I want to double major in chemical engineering and biomedical engineering with a minor in psychology. I want to eventually go to med school and become a pharmaceutical engineer.”

Favorite high school moment: Every time they put up the rankings and I am still the school valedictorian.

Favorite movie: “Titanic”


Morgan Doyle


Age: 17

GPA: 4.0

Interests: Soccer, lacrosse and snowboarding

Extracurricular activities: Four-year varsity lacrosse and soccer player; works at Green Hills Farms grocery store

Favorite subject: Math

Motivation: “I have always wanted to get into the best college that I can. I wanted to be able to say no to colleges, not them say no to me. Also my sisters have been successful in college, and I see that and want to be like them. My sisters inspire me most, both academically and in sports. My parents also push me.”

Goals for the future: “I want to major in mechanical engineering. I want to see how I like engineering and see where that takes me. I have applied to seven colleges, and right now, my top choices are Clarkson University and University of Rochester. I am talking to the coaches about playing for their lacrosse teams.”

Favorite high school moment: “When all five high schools in the Syracuse (City) School District created one lacrosse and soccer team due to budget cuts. I have become best friends with the girls at all the different schools even though we used to all be rivals. I originally thought I was going to lose my spot on the teams but a lot of the older girls were really encouraging and helped me. I miss them now that we’re not in season.”

Favorite movie: “The Da Vinci Code”



Abdinoor Mohamed

Age: 18

GPA: 3.3

Interests: Volunteer work and soccer

Extracurricular activities: Four-year varsity soccer player (captain his senior year). Also will be participating in this year’s spring musical “Bye Bye Birdie” because they needed more males. He volunteers at the Rescue Mission and is a member of the Seeds for Peace program.

Favorite subject: Psychology

Motivation: “My mom has motivated me because she has always been there for me. She has been both the mother and father figure for me. She wants me to have the best education because she didn’t have the opportunity, so she wants that for me so I can be successful.”

Goals for the future: Top choice is Syracuse University. He has also applied to Nazareth College and State University of New York at Oswego. He is undecided about a major. He would really like to play for the SU soccer team and is very interested in joining the Peace Corps.

Favorite high school moment: “When our team made it to sectionals for soccer my junior year because my sophomore year we had a losing season. We went from losing all of our games to making it to sectionals.”

Favorite movie: “Coach Carter”



Destany Finney

Age: 17

GPA: 4.0

Interests: Acting, dance, singing, tennis and art (especially painting)

Extracurricular activities: Corcoran tennis, Corcoran fall and spring theater (past performances include “Once on This Island,” “Curtains,” “Rumors,” “Steal Magnolias” and currently working on “Bye Bye Birdie”).

Favorite subject: Spanish (has been taking Spanish since the sixth grade and wants to be fluent). She is going to Spain in July as a graduation present from her parents.

Motivation: “My mom always pushed me to be the very best that I can be. It’s also second nature to me to always do the best that I can do. I have to be able to get scholarships, and I just wanted to be able to go to college.”

Goals for the future: “I applied early decision for Syracuse University and have already gotten accepted. I am going to be studying at SU and majoring in TRF (Television Radio Film) in (S.I.) Newhouse (School of Public Communications).”

Favorite high school moment: “When my vice principal called my mom and told her that I had been chosen to go see the president when he came. My mom called me in tears to tell me that I would get to meet him.”

Favorite movie: “The Notebook”



Emily Streissguth

Age: 17

GPA: 4.0

Interests: Running and music. “I like running because it provides an outlet for me. The IB program is stressful, so it is nice to get out all the stress with my friends who are also in the program and can complain with me about it. I don’t really do it to win; I do it for myself.”

Extracurricular activities: Three-season athlete in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. Also a member of concert band (plays the tenor saxophone). Winter is her favorite season because she loves to ski. Her favorite skiing spot is Song Mountain Resort.

Favorite subject: English “because I understand it, and I like the books we read in class.”

Motivation: “The IB program is a really big motivator because it looks really good on a college application and it definitely prepares you for college. My parents have always been really supportive of everything I do. They are English/communications college professors at Le Moyne College.”

Goals for the future: First choice is Princeton University. She also has applied to the University of Virginia and has been accepted at Fordham University. She wants to enter undergraduate undecided so that she can explore her options and see what major suits her best.

Favorite high school moment: “Any moments that have involved my friends and having a good time with them. My friends are definitely what I am going to miss the most about high school.”

Favorite movie: “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”



Justin Harlow

Age: 17

GPA: 3.3

Interests: Lacrosse, running, music, the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club

Extracurricular activities: Three-season athlete in varsity lacrosse, varsity indoor track and varsity cross-country

Favorite subject: History

Motivation: “I get great support from all my teachers and my family. They encourage me all the time, and with support like that, I find it easy to come in every day and work the hardest that I can. My father is a big inspiration for me because he has been through a lot and he has a lot of experience, which he passes on to me and I really appreciate it.”

Goals for the future: Applied to colleges such as Syracuse University, University of Buffalo and (State University of New York at) Cortland. “Syracuse is my top choice. I want to play club lacrosse. I also want to double major in sports management (finance or marketing) and exercise science and eventually work in the sports business.”

Favorite high school moment: “All the friends I’ve made and being able to compete in league and sectional championships with my sports teams. I like competing and getting up there with the best of them. Last year, we made it to the sectional playoffs for lacrosse.”

Favorite movie: “Rudy”


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