04. The End of High School

Five high school seniors chronicle their last four months at Cass Tech in Detroit.


Meet the Cass Tech Seniors

They spent the last four months of their high school career chronicling their thoughts, fears and dreams.

They’re an incredibly bright and hardworking bunch from one of Detroit’s most top-ranking high schools. Oh, and you’ll fall in love with them. We promise.

Listen to their story.


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Jhawan Davis

Age: 18

From: Detroit

College Attending: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Major: Engineering or Business

Jhawan on Growing Up:“I’m starting to realize that childhood is over.”

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Angel DeLaTorre

Age: 18

From: Southwest Detroit

College Attending: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Major: Athletic Training and Pre-Med

Angel on Arguing with Parents:“The bickering is adding extra stress.”

Superpower of Choice: Invisibility

Update: Right now I am in the Summer Bridge program at U of M Ann Arbor. It’s a program where I take a few classes in the summer to help me transition into the college academic course work. I am meeting so many new friends, and despite me being in school for the summer I am actually having fun! Me and my friends play volleyball almost every night, its become like a holiday for us, and it’s one of the activities I find most fun and it really helps me stay relaxed when I get stressed out from of a lot of homework. As far as scholarships go, the university covered all my expenses for the summer. For the fall and winter semesters my tuition is being covered by my Wade McCree Scholarship, and with aid from the federal government and the university I have the rest of my expenses paid for! I also received the Dean Parisi Scholarship, and the Detroit Compact Scholarship which have impacted my aid as well. I have a full ride to the University of Michigan! It just feels so good to say that, and I am so proud my hard work the past four years in high school paid off!”


James McLean

Age: 18

From: Detroit

College Attending: Wayne State University

Major: Pre-Physical Therapy

James on Adult Birthdays: “…The older you get, the less you care about your birthday.”

Superpower of Choice: Water Manipulation (Bending)

Update: “I have taken this summer to kind of unwind and mentally prepare myself for this huge step in my life. I actually took placement exams for math so I could test into a higher level math a few weeks ago. I got my scores back in about three days and I tested into the exact math class (MAT1050) that I wanted to! I went to Orientation in June, and was so nervous because I did not know anyone in my group (I hate being shy). They had us register for classes at orientation too … I felt as if I was writing my own fate as I scheduled for each class. My class schedule is not what I had hoped, but I still think I can manage. Recently, I went on vacation to Montgomery and Selma Alabama for a family reunion. My entire family was so proud of me and congratulated me for not only graduating high school, but graduating at the top of my class and with honors.”


Jocelyn Rice

Age: 18

From: East Detroit

College Attending: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Major: Neuroscience and Psychology

Jocelyn on Scholarships:“…start searching for scholarships as early as you can.”

Superpower of Choice: Telekinesis

Update: “As of right now, I’m working at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan at the Detroit Medical Center as a Project Genesis program. I just finished an interview in relation to the Project Genesis program that might be pitched to WXYZ and the Detroit Free Press. I registered for classes at orientation, and although not the best schedule in the world, I’m aiming to do my best, but not over exert myself in trying to BE the best. But I really want to get the prerequisites for my major (neuroscience) out the way as soon as possible. I’ve opened up/still setting up a store on redbubble.com, where I’m selling merchandise featuring my original artwork, and planning to donate 5-10% of all my profits to charities of my choice.”


Jade Rhodes

Age: 18

From: Detroit

College Attending: Hawaii Pacific University

Major: Asian Studies and Environmental Studies


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Brenda Vasconcelos-Ramirez

Age: 18

From: Southwest Detroit

College Attending: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Major: Undecided (possibly Health Administration)

Brenda on “How Much is Enough?”:“It just seems like 24 hours aren’t enough anymore …”

Superpower of Choice: Be Mother Nature

Update: “The countdown is now for 28 days (as of July 27) until I move into my dorm. I was lucky to get a single in central campus at Umich. Also, I received a lot of grant money that basically covers my room and board. As of right now the only thing I might be paying for are the fees for labs and other miscellaneous. I’ve been going to estate sales looking for homey dorm decorations. I’m overall excited to move in and saving up for unexpected expenses. This is Brenda, peace out.”





Doug Coombe

Meet Passalacqua, The Band That Scored Episode 04

This hip-hop duo came to fruition when rappers Brent Smith and Bryan Lackner met through the Detroit underground scene in the mid-2000s. With Passalacqua’s ability to move a crowd and bring energy to the stage, they soon grew to be a household name in the Detroit music scene. Check out their latest EP entitled Banglatown on Bandcamp and follow them on Twitter @_passalacqua_.