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The Paw Print

The Student News Site of Wilde Lake High School

The Paw Print

The Student News Site of Wilde Lake High School

The Paw Print

Life After the Lake: 2024 Senior Features

Last High School Covid Class Students Begin Unique Journeys
Lee Lewis
(From left to right) Myles Brown, William Hess, and Kaycee Henderson represent their plans for next year. Their paths range from high wage jobs, military academies, and four year colleges.

In August 2020, amidst a pandemic, the Class of 2024 came to Wilde Lake as freshmen. Though many were unsure about their futures after graduation, they worked throughout their time at the Lake to find their purpose and create their paths. 

Throughout a student’s four years of high school, Wilde Lake staff and courses prioritize helping each student find the path that is right for them. Principal Ms. Marcy Leonard says Wilde Lake celebrates all students for pursuing the future that is best for them. 

“Regardless of the path that any Wilde Lake student takes, we want to celebrate their talents and ensure those talents are aligned to their life’s purpose,” she said. 

From college, to trade school, to military, to the world of work, Wilde Lake provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to meet with success on their chosen paths. 

“The Paw Print” has highlighted three seniors who will graduate from Wilde Lake and begin their own, unique paths that Wilde Lake helped them discover was the right choice for them. 


From Future Medical Professionals Club to Doctor: Kaycee Henderson’s Journey to Spelman College

COLUMBIA, MD, MAY 1, 2024 — On College Decision Day, Kaycee Henderson sports her Spelman College gear, where she will be studying as a Presidential Scholar for the next four years.
(Arielle Levine)

From a young age, Kaycee has known that her true title is Dr. Kaycee Henderson. She says her dream is to be an eye doctor. Kaycee’s ambition led her to start the Future Medical Professionals Club at Wilde Lake, which she says was her passion project throughout her time at Wilde Lake. 

Kaycee’s strive to be a part of the next generation of doctors has paid off. Next year, Kaycee is taking her undeniable sense of commitment to Spelman College. Not only will she be attending the number one Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the nation, but she will be attending as a Presidential Scholar, meaning she has a full ride. 

Each year, the President of Spelman hand picks five young women to earn the honor of this full scholarship.

At Spelman, Kaycee will be majoring in Health Sciences. She says that Spelman’s Health Sciences program leads young Black women and emphasizes their impact and importance in the medical field. She says this proves that Spelman is the right place for her.

“Spelman takes pride in getting more Black doctors into the field.” she said “I definitely think that me being a young Black woman at Spelman will allow me to do whatever it takes to become a doctor.”

Aside from the academics aspect of Spelman, Kaycee is excited for the HBCU experience. She says that she is excited to be around people who look like her and have similar interests as her. 

“Being in an environment of ambitious Black women like me is something that I have never experienced. Getting to have the experience of years of culture and tradition is so exciting, and I cannot wait to be a part of it,” she said.

As Kaycee leaves the Lake, she recognizes that the Wilde Lake community has helped her grow and find her interests. “I went to high school not knowing who I was. I tried a bunch of things, and I think trying things was really important to me,” she said.

Kaycee hopes that every student at Wilde Lake leaves having found their “niche.” 

“You do not have to stick to one thing. You can learn a lot of different things and be well rounded,” she said.

After exploring all corners of the Lake, Kaycee knew that a four year college was the right decision for her.


With Discipline and Passion: Myles Brown’s Journey to the United States Coast Guard Academy

COLUMBIA, MD, MAY 1, 2024 — On College Decision Day, Myles Brown sports his U.S. Coast Guard Academy gear, where he will be studying civil engineering for the next four years.
(Amy Manzanares)

Myles Brown did not always know he would spend the summer before his freshman year of college doing military training for the United States Coast Guard Academy. However, after spending a week at the Academy Introduction Mission (AIM) summer program, Myles became very passionate about attending the Academy for his next four years of school. At the Coast Guard Academy, Myles will be majoring in civil engineering. 

Myles says part of the reason the Coast Guard Academy clicked for him is because it aligns with his personal values. With a father who was in the Marines, discipline has always been a large part of Myles’ life, so he is not intimidated by the discipline in the Academy. 

“My dad relayed his discipline onto my brother and I,” he said. “In the Academy, you follow instructions and are disciplined and I already know how to do both.” 

Myles says discipline is a form of positive constructive criticism. “You should always be aware that you are going to be yelled at and are going to be under pressure, but that is only for your benefit, so never let it get to you.”

In the Coast Guard Academy, Myles is looking forward to the tight knit community, as family has always been important to him. 

“Family is definitely a big part of my life,” Myles said. “Since the Coast Guard is such a small family, I think that’s perfect for me.” 

Aside from community, Myles is excited for the benefits that come along with the Academy. Myles will have a guaranteed job after graduating from the Academy and will receive veteran benefits for his service. 

Myles says these benefits will help him pursue his other goal of becoming an entrepreneur in the future. 

As Myles is following his passion, he advises his fellow Wildecats to do the same. He says students should find their passion during their time at the Lake so they can pursue what makes them happy. 

“You don’t wanna end up in a field that you’re not excited or passionate about. That’s just boring,” Myles said. “Find something that you really are passionate about and try to strive for that pathway.” 

After his four years at the Lake, Myles knew his passion lied in serving the Nation. Although he was not sure in the beginning, WIlde Lake allowed Myles to explore his options and pick the best fit for him.


Computer Lover Since the Start: William Hess’ Journey to the NSA

COLUMBIA, MD, MAY 1, 2024 — On College Decision Day, William Hess represents both parts of his future with his HCC flag and his computer for his work with NSA. (Arielle Levine)

William Hess says he’s always been a computer geek.

William grew up inspired by his father, watching him work on the computer. This created his love for technology. Throughout high school, William attended the Cybersecurity Networking career academy at the Howard County Applications and Research Laboratory (ARL) and Technology Education classes that allowed him to pursue his passion for computers. 

William has a high paying job with benefits at the National Security Agency (NSA). He is a Deputy Technical Director. He received information about the internship through his ARL classes and was immediately interested in the job position because of his fascination with computers. 

“I always wanted to work with computers in some way, I was always fascinated by them,” he said.

There were 10,000 applicants for his job. He says his greatest accomplishment is being one of the 200 selected to receive this position that helps protect the country. 

“I see what I’m doing as very important. I’m making sure our country stays safe,” he said.

William will attend Howard Community College next year along with his NSA job.

William’s biggest piece of advice to offer those who are interested in joining the workforce after high school is to always look out for job opportunities.

He says they may not always be right in front of you, but this does not mean they do not exist.  “Look around, there are definitely a lot of internships that people just don’t realize are out there and aren’t well broadcasted,” he said.

Although William always had a passion for computers, Howard County’s ARL program allowed him to pursue his passion at a higher level and build a future out of his love for computers.

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