Great Lakes Adventist Academy (GLAA) is proud to announce the class of 2022. Thirty-nine students will graduate this Sunday, May 29, and move forward with what the Lord has in store for their lives. The graduates had the privilege of growing their faith during their time at GLAA. Stephanie Martinez, a junior, penned a brief biography for the graduates below. Read and discover how these young students held their relationship with Jesus close to their hearts.
For GLAA staff and faculty, witnessing young people grow closer to Jesus is the greatest reward for doing what they do.
Coming all the way from Maine is this year’s Senior Class President, Macauley Huston. He is ambitious and willing to help wherever needed, and this makes him incredibly likable. Macauley has served our school by helping in the boys’ dorm, directing programs for the Aerokhanas gymnastics team, and editing spectacular videos for the yearbook team. Macaulay hopes to major in Communications and Photography so he can further develop his creativity skills. His favorite memories have been the ones surrounded by the loving faculty at GLAA.
It seems as though Aleia Vanderwaal has never once run out of energy. In her time here at GLAA, she has been part of the Aerokhanas leadership team, Student Association, and the National Honor Society. This year she was selected to be the Head RA in the dorm and the Vice President for her class. Constantly running around and being active, Aleia would love to become a Physical Therapist Assistant one day. Aleia would like to share that she is “very thankful for her friends, family, teachers, La Croix, and Jesus.”
Serving as this year’s Senior Class Pastor, Haley Soper is a cheerfully spirited person. By being a Residential Assistant for two years, a member of the National Honor Society, and participating in the Aerokahnas gymnastics team, Haley is able to share her love for Jesus throughout all of her positions. Haley hopes to pursue a career in emergency outdoor services, or something outdoorsy in general. After being here for three years, she has grown out of her shell and has been able to gain more confidence through her relationship with God. Years ago, Haley prayed to come to GLAA, and those prayers were answered. When asked, Haley says, “God’s timing is amazing.”
Chase Slikkers was born in Holland, Michigan and is a vital leader on our campus. On a daily basis, you might see him playing the piano or guitar up front for our song services, back-spotting a three high for the Aerokhanas gymnastics team, monitoring the dorm’s phones as a Resident Assistant, or leading the Freshman Flamekeepers’ small group that discusses the Bible together. Chase’s professional goal is to become a Computer Data Analyst, but more importantly, he hopes to share Jesus’ love with everyone he comes in contact with. When asked if he had anything to add, he responded, “GLAA has not only prepared me for this life, but for life eternally.”
Gisele Furaha was born and raised in the beautiful country of Rwanda. After moving from a refugee camp to America at the age of 11, she had to quickly learn to adapt. Gisele has completed two years here at GLAA. Her favorite memory is when she was baptized last fall during the senior recognition weekend. Always laughing and finding amusement in everything, she is guaranteed to make you smile. Gisele is on the Aerokhanas gymnastics team, and is part of the Student Association leadership. Being incredibly ambitious and strong minded, she plans to go through nursing school while incorporating Jesus into everything. As she embarks on a new journey she’d like to add, “Being at GLAA has taught me how to balance my school life with my spiritual life, and for that I will be forever grateful.”
Graduating as a four-year senior, Lenisa Garcia has redefined what it means to reflect God’s character. Whether it be by planning social events as our Student Association President, helping the RAs or leading small groups in the dorm, managing the alto Chamber Singers as their section leader, publishing an article in the Guide Magazine, or serving as Pastor for our National Honor Society, this young woman puts her all into everything she does. As this year’s Caring Heart Award recipient, Lenisa shares Jesus’ love everywhere she goes, and she will leave an amazing legacy here on campus. Lenisa’s goal is to major in Secondary Education and eventually become an English teacher.
Caeli Hensel is nothing short of an excellent leader. Going above and beyond, this lovely girl brings a smile to the face of everyone she comes in contact with. After being here for all four years, it’s no surprise that Caeli has served all over our campus. She has been a Residential Assistant for two years, is a member of the National Honor Society, participated on the Aerokahans gymnastics team as a base, and is in charge of public relations for our Student Association team. Being blessed with the ability to speak out against injustice, Caeli feels a strong calling to become a social worker. As she finishes her last few weeks of school she’d like to add, “The friendships I’ve made throughout my time here have always uplifted me, just like Christ has and will continue to do for all of eternity.”
Traveling all the way from Indonesia, Abraham Tengkano has amazed us all with his impeccable creativity. His family created the first ever Seventh-day Adventist television broadcast ministry in their country, and now Abraham is honing his video editing skills here at GLAA. Even though this is his first year with us, Abraham has been a speaker for our student lead Week of Prayer and a video editor for the yearbook team. He is also known for being the best badminton player in town. Utilizing his excellent public speaking skills, Abraham hopes to become a missionary pastor, as well as a pilot and videographer. Although Abraham has been homeschooled his entire life on another continent, he’s made a home here and says, “I believe that we all can meet together again under the tree of life.”
With a laugh that can be heard in classrooms miles away, Seth McKelvey has truly won our hearts. While approaching life calmly and graciously, he has been a crucial part of our GLAA family. By being this year’s Student Association Pastor, the President of the National Honor Society, a choir leader, the brains behind various student led Christian podcasts, and a passionate piano player, Seth has nailed all three of our school’s mottos which are: Uplifting Christ, Pursuing Excellence, and Serving others. Using his gift of public speaking, Seth’s ultimate goal is to go into pastoral ministry and follow wherever God leads. As he finishes his second year here, he’d like to add, “I believe GLAA has uniquely prepared me to view the world through a lens of service, understanding, and compassion.”