2011 Graduate – Chelsea K. Reese
The area that is now Lansing was originally spotted by explorer Hugh Howard in 1790 while canoeing the Grand River. The land that was to become Lansing was surveyed in 1825 in what was then dense forest. There would be no roads to this area for decades to come.
In the winter of 1835 and early 1836, two brothers from New York plotted the area now known as REO Town just south of downtown Lansing and named it “Biddle City.” All of this land lay in a floodplain and was underwater during the majority of the year. Regardless, the brothers went back to New York, specifically Lansing, New York, to sell plots for the town that did not exist. They told the residents of Lansing, New York that this new “city” had an area of 65 blocks, contained a church and also a public and academic square. A group of 16 men bought plots in the nonexistent city and upon reaching the area later that year found they had been scammed. Many in the group too disappointed to stay ended up settling around what is now Metropolitan Lansing. Those who stayed quickly renamed the area “Lansing Township” in honor of their home village in New York.
The sleepy settlement of fewer than 20 people would remain dormant until the winter of 1847 when the state constitution required that the capital be moved from Detroit to a more centralized and safer location in the interior of the state since many were concerned about Detroit’s proximity to British-controlled Canada, which had captured Detroit in the War of 1812. The United States had recaptured the city in 1813, but these events led to the dire need to have the center of government relocated away from hostile British territory. In addition, there was also concern with Detroit’s strong influence over Michigan politics, being the largest city in the state as well as the capital city.
Most of what is known as Lansing today is the direct result of the city becoming an industrial powerhouse which began with the founding of Olds Motor Vehicle Company in August 1897. Over the next decades, the city would see itself transformed into a major American industrial center for the manufacturing of automobiles and automobile parts among other industries. Today, the city’s economy is now diversified among government service, healthcare, manufacturing, insurance, banking, and education.
Joining the health care industry is our graduate Miss Chelsea Reese. Chelsea graduated from Citizens’ in August of 2010. She had made the decision to drop out of high school after becoming pregnant and having a daughter. Chelsea then discovered that working full time became a priority.
Chelsea knew that her life would not reach its potential without the coveted high school diploma. When Chelsea turned 18 she was no longer eligible to return to a public high school. Her choices narrowed to a few. She could have opted for a GED. Chelsea knew a GED was not a high school diploma. She contacted Citizens’ High School for assistance in completing her diploma requirements.
Chelsea needed almost two full academic years of classes to earn her diploma. Citizens’ provided the accredited curriculum and Chelsea provided the sweat equity and determination. She told us that “Citizens’ seemed more concerned with helping their students pursue their education.” We really do concern ourselves with educating those with the desire to improve their station in life.
Now that Chelsea has graduated from Citizens’ she is aggressively chasing the next goal in her life. She is currently enrolled in Davenport University where an Associate’s degree in Health Information Systems awaits. She will complete it early in 2013.
Her free time is spent chasing after her two year old daughter. She loves the outdoors and combines that with spending time with her family and fiancé.
We are proud of Chelsea’s decision to go back to school and earn a diploma. Because of her desire for education and security, she has earned the right to be called…
Citizens’ High School Graduate of the Month for September 2011.