TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Dozens of the best students in the Toledo-area were honored for their achievements in the classroom at the 32nd Annual Academic Excellence Banquet sponsored by BP.
"It's really just to say great job to an amazing group of students who have really out-performed," said BP-Husky Refinery president Mark Dangler.
The students from 30 Toledo-area schools honored at the banquet were all in the top two percent of their graduating class, including the valedictorians and salutatorians of those schools.
Some of the students will head to colleges in Ohio, while others will head to top universities across the country. But no matter where their collegiate career takes them, many hope to return to northwest Ohio.
Christina Sweeney, who will be attending the University of Michigan on scholarship, say her parents, who were both teachers, are her drive.
"I would like to get in and talk to the people in the community," Sweeney said. "Maybe, like, hear their point of view and get the word out for them if they don't have a voice necessarily."
Liam Champion is at the top of his class at St. Francis de Sales and is headed to Notre Dame University. He wants to start his career in business in nearby Chicago. But he thinks one day, he could see himself in Toledo.
"I have a lot of family here. And it's a blossoming city. Downtown is getting really nice and everything, and I want to be a part of that," Champion said. "The fact that it's growing, it's a growing market. It's getting better."
But no matter where their paths may wind, those moving onto with a bright future to the next chapter in their life will have the Toledo community behind them.