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Gilpin graduates ready to fly!

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Outdoor graduation ceremony

By Curt Halsted

Friends and family shared in a joyous celebration of the accomplishments of Gilpin Seniors. The event was staged outdoors with a majestic expanse of mountains cradled in rolling clouds, and for Gilpin County a warm day. An air of freedom and yet caution filled the atmosphere for what was the first public gathering for many in a long time.

Celebrated Kindergarten teacher Alan Warshinsky was the guest speaker. He encouraged graduates to never stop learning, that the homework should never be finished – always do your research. The highlight of his presentation was the reading of lyrics to his, “What I could tell you Graduation Rap.” In the true fashion of a kindergarten teacher he reminds students to: “Clean up your messes, practice and get better, learn how to be your own hero… Cause, it don’t matter if you’re wrong or right, love is all you need, love is all you need.”

Salutatorian Blake Boulter and Valedictorian Damian Sonsino gave rousing speeches. Damian exclaimed “What a year it has been” He encouraged his classmates to bask in all of their hard work, for this is “our day, our celebration.” He praised everyone for overcoming the difficulty of being students and teachers during a pandemic. He had a gracious thank you for all the teachers that encouraged and inspired his class. He recognized his teachers as perfect candidates for SpaceX Mars colonists, for all of their insurmountable effort and dedication. He encouraged his classmates to grow and show their full potential, while praising them as amazing people with incredible talent who will carve out their place in history.

Gilpin’s tradition of showing gratitude by sharing flowers with loved family members and cherished teachers and friends proved as emotional as ever. The graduates received their diplomas and joyously threw their caps to the birds. The caps seemed to defy gravity for a moment as they hovered in the light breeze.

2021 Scholarships and Plans

Rayvaughn Amaya-Beard

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

He will be joining the workforce and plans on attending North Texas Community College in the future to study Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement.

Jasmine Arends

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

Gilpin Athletic Booster’s – $500

Teryx Scholarship – $1,000

Peak to Peak Rotary – $1,000

Alan Green Memorial – $2,500

Regis University Scholarship – $40,000

Total – $51,000

Attending: Regis University

Major: Nursing

Olivia Ball

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

Gilpin Athletic Booster’s – $500

Total – $6,500

Attending: Red Rocks Community College and has interest in pursuing the field of Sports Medicine.

Blake Boulter

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

Alan Green Memorial – $2,500

City of Central Promise Scholarship – $5,000

Colorado School of Mines Presidential Scholarship – $10,000

Mines Medal of Achievement in Math and Science – $1,000

Daniels Fund Scholar – $100,000

Total – $124,500

Attending: Colorado School of Mines

Major: Chemical Engineering

Tristin Braning

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

Thielemann Family Educator Scholarship – $1,000

CU Denver Scholarships – $10,000

Total – $17,000

Tristin will continue to work at doggy day care.

Attending: CU Denver in the fall.

Major: English to become a teacher.

Robert Castillo

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

Will take a GAP year and join the workforce, then plans on attending community college to study criminal justice.

Julian Cortez

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

He will be taking a Gap year and working with his dad.

Triston DiPasquale

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

Plans on starting a business in wholesale real estate.

Emma Hanssen

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

Attending: Fort Lewis College

Major: Business

Warren Hardman

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

Gilpin Theatre Scholarship – $500

AMDA – $6,000

Total: $12,500

Attending: American Musical Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles

Major: Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting

Noah Hockley

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

He is currently in the workforce and has an interest in health and wellness, and becoming a personal trainer.

Drake Hylton          

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

Attending: CU Boulder

Major: Aerospace Engineering

Stephen King

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

Alan Green Memorial Foundation – $2,500

Gilpin County Education Foundation – $1,000

School of Mines President’s Scholarship – $12,000

Colorado Scholars Scholarship for Last $ tuition – $76,248

Total – $97,748

Attending: Colorado School of Mines

Major: Chemical Engineering

Samuel Kniffen

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

Sam plans on taking a GAP year during which he will pursue his dream of writing and recording original music.

Dallas LeBeau

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

He plans on taking a Gap year to work and figure out his next chapter in life.

Nolan Lindberg

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

Booster’s Academic – $500

United Power Scholarship – $1,000

County Sheriffs of Colorado – $500

Gilpin County Education Foundation – $1,000

CU Boulder Scholarship – $11,200

Total – $20,200

Attending: CU Boulder

Major: Biochemistry

Ryan Newberg

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

Plans on taking a Gap year to travel in the U.S.

Archer O’Brien

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

TeamWorks Scholarship – $1,000

Total – $,7000

Archer plans on working at TeamWorks and pursuing opportunities to work in technical theatre.

Jon Rust

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

Plans on joining the workforce and would like to play baseball.

Jaden Schott

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

Plans on taking a Gap Year, joining the workforce, and continue to work on writing his book, Winter’s Tears.

Damian Sonsino

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

DAR Scholarship – $600

Outstanding CO Student – $4,000

Regent Scholarship – $1,000

CU Esteemed Scholars – $14,000

Gilpin County Education Foundation – $1,000

Total – $26,600

Attending:  CU Boulder

Major: Biochemistry

Katelyn Stanton

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

Will be taking a Gap Year, then attending community college to major in business or nursing .

Casey Usnick

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

Casey will join the workforce and attend welding school.

Shane Wu

City of Black Hawk – $6,000

CU Boulder Esteemed Scholar – $10,000

Total – $16,000

Attending: CU Boulder

Major: Biology

Overall Total of Scholarships the next four Years: $463,048

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