Junior Unity day sees return of HHS alumnus

February 7, 2020

Danasia Kelly begins her day the same as everyone else. Wake up, get ready and leave to start the day. The only difference, Kelly parks in the TCF Bank lot, instead of HHS’. 

Kelly, alumnus, earned her graduation credits three terms early and moved onto working in the corporate offices of TCF Bank, while taking classes at Anoka Tech community college, to achieve her surgical degree. If this weren’t enough, on Feb. 5, Kelly took the day off of work and classes to reconnect with her Hopkins roots, at Junior Unity Day. 

“What prompted me to come back was the impact Unity Day had on me,” Kelly said. “I love the speaker, Keith Hawkins, and how he invokes so much positivity and emotion out of everyone who attends.”  

Kelly’s dedication to the Hopkins community caught eyes of administrators, who claim Danasia one of many who choose to return.

“Students like Danasia are a prime example of Hopkins pride,” said Mr. Trent Lawson, assistant principal. “As an administration, time and time again we are blown away by students who come back to visit.” 

Ms. Kelly Tennison, associate principal, agrees. 

“This doesn’t surprise me at all,” Ms. Tennison said. “Danasia is just that kind of person. She is an amazing, thoughtful and caring individual.” 

Having attended Hopkins and being an active member in its community, Kelly expresses the impact Junior Unity Day has had on her throughout the years, and how she wants to make an impact going forward. 

“The day was a mix of emotions for me, but if I can share my story to help the next person, I’ll do it,” Kelly said. “No matter how personal and uncomfortable it is,  I’d rather be uncomfortable in order for other people to know they aren’t alone in whatever they’re going through. It was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up.” 

In the eyes of Mr. Lawson, Kelly is an exemplar across the board of what it means to have Hopkins pride and being an outstanding citizen. 

“Students like Danasia are what it’s all about,” Mr. Lawson said. “As high school administrators, we don’t get to see what students will become. Students don’t belong to us, they don’t even belong to their parents; Hopkins students belong to the world.” 

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