Student spotlight: Fernando Parraz

There’s not much that can hold Fernando Parraz back, and there’s video evidence to prove it.

Back in spring of 2012, when he was a senior at Detroit’s Western International High School, Parraz was the subject of a 16-minute documentary that highlighted the urgency of increasing high school graduation rates. Titled "Can’t Hold Me Back," the film followed Parraz as he became the first in his family to earn a high school diploma.

Today, Parraz is about to enter his third year in the Wayne State University marketing program, armed with a $60,000 scholarship to help him complete his degree. This summer, he is building on his classroom education by working as an intern in the finance department at DTE Energy.

Like so many Wayne State graduates before him, Parraz plans to use his education to advance his career and his community.

"I want to graduate college, then get a steady job and focus on film, and do what I can to help my community more — maybe open up a youth center," he says.

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