Mom’s message was direct and clear.
Talan Alfrey took it to heart.
“Every day when she dropped me off to practice, she always said, ‘Work hard, and you’ll never regret it,’ ” said Alfrey, a three-sport star and bright student leader at Auburn Mountainview High School. “She’s right, like she usually is.”
That work ethic, instilled by parents and reinforced by teachers and coaches over the years, has led to many great things for the graduating senior.
The same can be said for Wendy Mordo, whose parents, Cephas and Ivy, immigrated here from the West African nation of Ghana in 1999. They toiled but established careers in nursing, providing a promising path for Wendy and their two other children to follow.
“My parents didn’t go to high school in America, so I never really understood what high school was supposed to look like besides movies and stuff,” Mordo said. “I didn’t take it seriously the first two years … but looking back, it was such a crucial time for anyone to find your true self. … I’m more true to myself today. I grew the most here.”
In and out of the classroom, Alfrey and Mordo blossomed, representing two of the very best personalities to come out of the school’s class of ’18.
Both excelled at pretty much whatever they decided to focus on, an effort encouraged by family and friends and fueled by their deep faith.
They took on a challenging, AP (advanced placement) class work load and carefully balanced the books with sports, music and community work.
Alfrey, an Eagle Scout, carried a 3.95 GPA and participated in student government. He shone brightly on game days, becoming one of the school’s most decorated athletes.
Alfrey was an all-state, all-league talent in football – an instinctive impact player on defense, a speedy playmaker on offense. He played big as a small forward in basketball and set the school’s long and triple jump records as a state place-winner in track and field.
Through it all, Alfrey – one of Trever and Dani Alfrey’s six children – matured beyond his years.
“I’m definitely more humble than I was before,” he said. “I have been blessed with good friends and great families. I’ve been taught at a young age to always be kind and respectful. I feel like I do a decent job at that.”
Alfrey’s next job is to help others. He signed a scholarship early to attend and play football at Brigham Young University but won’t don the pads until he completes a two-year, Mormon church mission to Uruguay. He leaves for South America next month.
Interested in sports medicine, Alfrey may pursue a career in neuroscience.
He leaves Auburn Mountainview more relaxed, more outgoing, and more adjustable to change.
Like Alfrey, Mordo is ready to take the next step. She’s off to a faith-based institution, Grand Canyon University, a Christian school in Phoenix, Ariz. She plans to double-major in behavioral health science and athletic training – areas she will explore for a career.
At Auburn Mountainview, Mordo, a 3.4 student, served in ASB government and the Black Student Union, performed on the dance team, sang in the choir and excelled in sports medicine. She was a Young Life leader at her church.
Those experiences have made her a well-rounded, more responsible person.
“I’m more grounded in my faith, and that propelled me onto greater and bigger things going into my senior year,” Mordo said. “I’m more in tune with myself and also in tune to how other people feel.”