Written by Brittany Nunn · Photos by Danny Fulgencio

Dark Past, Bright Future: Recognizing 2016 graduates who shined in the face of adversity

Coming back from a catastrophic injury, helping a parent bounce back from violent tragedy, overcoming socioeconomic limitations — teenagers here and everywhere deal with hardships, but few do so while keeping up with their academics and emerge as leaders.

Jennifer Macias

"In an instant, life as she knew it was halted. For weeks she couldn’t talk and every movement was an excruciating effort. She certainly wouldn’t be dancing anytime soon."

Kadrian Oliver

"Nothing is going to stop Woodrow Wilson High School senior Kadrian Oliver from going to college — not poverty, not academic setbacks and not a terrifying run-in with a gunman who assaulted her mother."

Shakshi Davis

"An attitude like his will take him places, Washington believes — like college. Washington has been talking with colleges about Davis and he says there are at least a couple of small schools interested in having him on their basketball team."

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