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2002 Graduate – Avenis Barrios


Avenis BarriosMichigan made very slow progress in settlement and population up to 1820. From its first discovery, about 1610, until 1763, the territory was claimed, or governed by the French. It was then ceded to Great Britain, and in 1783, at the close of the war of the Revolution, was transferred to the United States.

Located in west Michigan, just southwest of Grand Rapids, Wyoming is more than a suburb. A city that has grown in the shadow of metropolitan Grand Rapids, Wyoming has come into its own. It is Michigan’s 16th largest community with West Michigan’s largest industrial tax base. Wyoming is nestled between Grandville and Kentwood and boasts five nearby colleges and universities, abundant retail and commercial facilities, 600 acres of parkland and is within 30 miles of beautiful Lake Michigan. It grew from a small town until January 1, 1959, when it was incorporated as a city. It was given a post office in 1960. A major feature of this area is the careful blending of urban life with nature, as evidenced by the locations of Palmer Park, the Buck Creek Nature Area and Lamar Park – amid residential neighborhoods. Both are great places to take a walk “in the country” without having to travel to the county.

We here at Citizens’ High School want you to meet Ayenis Barrios from Wyoming, Michigan. She has recently earned the right to call herself a high school graduate. She accomplished her goal with the help of Citizens’ High School this past October. Ayenis knew she would be “stuck in a really bad job” without her diploma. She also was less than enchanted with the public school system in Kent County. “I was tired of putting up with rude students and inconsiderate teachers.” We understand! With class sizes the way they are in government run schools, and the disturbing trend in student violence, it is difficult for teachers to be concerned with individual students. Ayenis decided to work full time and finish her diploma requirements in the friendly confines of her kitchen. No rude or inconsiderate folks there, just loving supportive family. “My family is so proud of me and I am grateful for them.” “I am happy that I have accomplished this goal and I am proud of my self. I will be going to the Olympia Career Training Institute to learn how to be a Medical Claims Specialist.” Olympia Career Training Institute (OCTI), formerly Grand Rapids Educational Center, was founded in 1972 and provides quality health care career training programs.

Ayenis has showed tenacity and courage. She bucked the system and succeeded. She has proven that there are alternatives to the soviet style public schools where one can acquire a quality education and not sacrifice one’s principles.

Ms. Ayenis Barrios is Citizens’ High School
“Graduate of the Month” for July 2002.