Dominique Finley

Graduated: Two Eagle River School

College: Undecided

Dominique Finley never let obstacles get in his way of being the first in his family to earn a high school diploma.

“I did it for me,” Finley said. “It feels good.”

Between his roles as a student, athlete and the caretaker for his siblings, high school was always a balancing act for Finley but despite significant time commitments and responsibilities outside of school, Finely is now the first in his immediate family to graduate — even finishing most of his graduation requirements early.

“Dom is a fine young man who has overcome many obstacles to succeed,” Two Eagle River teacher Rebekah Knudsen-Dalbey said in a letter recommending the student.

“He has grown into a strong, independent and caring person,” Kudsen-Dalbey said, adding that he “never shirks his responsibilities or neglects to work hard.”

Finley maintained excellent attendance and worked diligently every day, while carrying the responsibility of looking after his siblings.

“I could’ve gave up when I wanted to, but I see my sister and my brothers looking up to me so I had to keep going, pushing for them to get them in a better spot,” Finley said.

Hard work is second nature to Finley, who also played basketball and participated in cross-country in Two Eagle River School. His work on the court not only earned him a letter in high school basketball, but also the role of team captain.

As the team’s captain, Finely showed leadership and tenacity by mentoring some of the younger players. He said that his motivation to be a mentor to his siblings and the younger students comes from his heart.

Through it all, he maintained a “fun-loving personality” and a “great sense of humor,” Knudsen-Dalbey said.

Finley isn’t quite sure what’s next for him after graduation but for now, graduating high school is enough.

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