Recent Saline High School graduate Aidan Carichner is one of our city's brightest and best, and his academic and personal achievements were lauded recently by Michigan Senator Rebekah Warren.
Warren presented Carichner with a $1,000 scholarship in front of the Saline board of education during their regular meeting last Tuesday, and she commended his accomplishments both inside the classroom and out.
"Aidan, I think many of you know, is just a phenomenal young person," she said. "He's a scholar: National Honor Society member, 4.26 grade point average, he's an athlete: cross country, track, ultimate frisbee, he's a musician: he not only plays in the band but he tutors two instruments."
Carichner is also heavily involved in volunteer work within the community, Warren said.
The funding opportunity, formally called the Rebekah Warren Envision Michigan Scholarship, is open to any graduating high school senior who lives in the 18th State Senate District and who plans to attend a university, college, technical school or trade school.
"When I was first elected to the house in 2006, I had talked a lot about the importance of funding education," Warren said, citing how she also wanted to go beyond simply supporting related policy. "I thought, 'why don't I put my own money where my mouth is?'"
It has been ten years now since Warren began giving away the funds.
In the application materials for the scholarship, Warren has students "imagine that you are running for governor in the State of Michigan," and asks them to consider, "what is your vision for the future of Michigan and what three programs of policies would you incorporate into your campaign platform to bring your vision to reality?"
Warren said she was thoroughly impressed with Carichner's answers.
"The three areas that he wanted to work on were protecting our environment, supporting funding for our schools, especially as far as children with special needs, and protecting our nursing profession," she said. "He really is thinking about our earth and our future and our students."
Though visibly happy during Warren's commendations, Carichner said he was slightly embarrassed hearing all of his accomplishments spoken before the crowd.
He has been accepted to the University of Michigan and said he has a general idea of what he eventually will major in.
"I'm not 100 percent sure what I'm going to study, but I'm definitely going to go into science and most likely chemistry," he said.
Sports might even be on the horizon for Carichner as a Wolverine,
"I might be running on the cross country team there, but I'm not exactly sure yet," he said.
Regardless of where he ends up on the path ahead, Carichner said his time at Saline Area Schools has prepared him for whatever challenges present themselves.
"I have really enjoyed my time here," he said. "The school experience really shaped me into a stronger person than I was and, definitely, more ready to face all of the challenges of college and life."