The Student News Site of Plainfield East High School

East Side News

East Side News

The Student News Site of Plainfield East High School

East Side News

FEATURE: Editor-in-chief gives final bengal beat

Becky Graske
Mia Graske at age 5, relaxing with her iPad and cat, Zip.

The school year is ending at Plainfield East High School, and with it, the class of 2024. Many great students have emerged from the outgoing senior class. Students such as Mia Graske, the current Editor-in-Chief of East Side News and a member of the Spanish National Honors Society and Bengals Bilingües Peer Mentors. 

Graske plans on attending Trinity Christian College post-graduation, majoring in Social Work and minoring in Spanish. 

“During senior year I realized my passion is helping other people, so I figured I might as well dedicate my life to doing that,” said Graske. “It’s kind of a full-circle moment for me. I’m minoring in Spanish because I love the language and it broadens the amount of people I can help out. The goal is to work for World Relief and help immigrants and refugees.”

Her passion was cultivated and nurtured by her years at East, especially those spent as Editor-in-Chief. 

“My favorite memory from East would probably be all of journalism. I made so many friends and got to know the school so well as a result of joining sophomore year. It built my confidence as a writer and my self-confidence, as I met so many people who helped me grow,” Graske said. 

She added that she is proud of her “significant moments” at East, including those with journalism; Graske went to the 2024 Illinois High School Association state competition for Feature Writing. Additionally, she has received her Seal of Biliteracy. 

“All of these things felt like getting my hard work recognized, and it felt so good to achieve something I had worked so hard for. High school wasn’t easy for me, so having my accomplishments be seen is really validating and pushes me to keep going,” Graske said. 

In addition to educational lessons, Graske has seen personal growth as well. 

“My favorite quality about myself would be my self-reflection. I can recognize my strengths and weaknesses and then build upon them. Over my years at East, this has been really helpful in my evolution as a person, and it’s definitely helped me find my passions,” Graske said.

She also reflects upon the measures it took to reach a positive point in her life. 

“I am really proud of how far I’ve come mentally from freshman year to now. COVID was hard for everyone, but for me, it meant I was really isolated and lonely. I’ve worked on myself a lot and have a solid group of friends. Just that alone is incredible to me because it felt like I would never get to a point like that. I thought there wouldn’t be a better day, but I’m living in it now,” Graske said. 

Graske has provided some advice to incoming freshmen and those continuing their academic journey at East: 

“Don’t be afraid to have your plans change. There is beauty in the shifts and alterations that happen in life, so I wouldn’t discourage them at all. Instead, embrace them and let yourself develop as a human. No one should be stuck in the same stage forever.”


Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Mia Debelevich, Staff Writer
Hello, my name is Mia Debelevich. I am a senior and this is my first year in journalism. Aside from my love for reading and writing, music is my passion. My vinyl records are my most prized possession.

Comments (0)

All East Side News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *