FAU High Graduates to Receive Bachelor’s Before High School Diplomas
Florida Atlantic University’s spring commencement ceremonies highlights the accomplishments of five FAU High School students who will be receiving their bachelor’s degrees on Thursday, April 29, 15 days prior to receiving their high school diplomas on Friday, May 14.
“These students have shown tremendous dedication to their studies and their communities and I’m positive they will have an impact far beyond FAU,” said Sherry Bees, principal/director of A.D. Henderson University School and FAU High. “Though their last year of high school and college was a ‘different’ one, the incredible efforts displayed and opportunities offered to these students have been an accurate representation of what it means to attend FAU High School.”
This semester’s graduates include:
Ainsley Blackwood, 18, will graduate magna cum laude from the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science on Thursday, April 29 at 5 p.m. with a degree in psychology. When Blackwood was 3 years old, her father passed away from cancer. This tragic event instilled in her a passion for everyone to have access to mental health care without cost or stigma. Blackwood has been accepted to Duke University’s accelerated Bachelor’s in Nursing program, which she will begin in the fall. Her goal is to become a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and volunteer both domestically and aboard. She was the secretary of the Psychology Club at FAU High School and tutored in her spare time.
Kevin Figueroa, 17, is one of FAU’s youngest graduate this semester. He will graduate summa cum laude from the College of Business on Thursday, April 29 at 9 a.m. with a degree in business management with a concentration in entrepreneurship and a minor in finance. He is a first-generation graduate who is passionate about entrepreneurship, helping people and making a big impact on the world. At the age of 13, Figueroa started an online company which allowed parents to do their back to school shopping within minutes. Recently, he started Freeferrals, an online referral marketing platform that will give people a new way to save money on online shopping by having free access to products and services they love by referring them to their friends. Figueroa has been accepted to the University of Southern California’s Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovation program, which he will start in the fall as the youngest student ever admitted to the program.
Nicole Nudelman, 18, will graduate summa cum laude from the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science on Thursday, April 29 at 5 p.m. with a degree in biological sciences. She is a first-generation graduate with a dream of attending medical school. Nudelman was on the varsity swim team at FAU High School and shadowed at the Surgery Center of Fort Lauderdale. She also participated in FAU High School’s student government organization and volunteered at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.
Rebeca Dume, 17, is one of FAU’s youngest graduate this semester. She will graduate summa cum laude from the College of Business on Thursday, April 29 at 9 a.m. with a degree in finance and a minor in hospitality. She participated in Science Olympiad and National Honor Society, prior to focusing on her career and getting an internship. She enjoys graphic design in her spare time. Dume has been hired at a nonprofit organization, Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life, where she will work full-time following graduation.
Xiyan Wu, 18, will graduate magna cum laude from the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science on Thursday, April 29 at 5 p.m. with a degree in mathematical science and a minor in computer science. Wu is a first-generation graduate with a passion for the applied math and data science field. She participated in FAU’s student government organization, FAU High’s Interact Club, Science Olympiad and SECME. Wu has been accepted to the University of Washington’s Master of Science in Applied and Computational Mathematics program, which she will start in the fall.
The highly selective program at FAU High serves as a dual-enrollment prototype. Students spend their ninth grade year in a high school classroom taking advanced coursework. This prepares them for grades 10-12, where all classes are collegiate courses taken at FAU for both high school and college credit.