My nephew is the the coolest 18-year-old I've ever known, seriously. I had to write about him because my husband and I regularly discuss what a great guy he is, and how great his friends are as well. He is a volunteer fireman in his hometown, and during this last year, has also been taking EMT classes at the local career center. He is going to school for Fire Science, and wants to be a full time fireman. I couldn't be prouder of him if he was my own kid. (incidentally, he's sort of like a brother, since there are only 11 years difference between us)
There are several reasons I think he is the coolest, and here are a few: although he excells at sports, they are not his life, and he isn't arrogant about his ability; unlike many seniors in highschool (myself included), he is involved with something bigger than himself (fire dept); he is one of those people you meet and think "Wow, that is just a nice guy"; the friends he has are spectacular, I mean, they are trustworthy, honest, decent people; he's not into the alcohol/drug thing like so many highschool kids are, and neither are his friends...I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.
You could say that I'm biased and so that's why I like him so much, and you'd be partially right. But keep in mind that both my husband and I are secondary teachers (7-12 grades) and so have had a lot of interaction with kids my nephew's age. He and his friends really are the kids you hope your child will be friends with.
And so Bub (his nickname), and Dan, and Rod, and Ripley: congratulations on graduation! You all are truly great people, and I am so proud of you. Here are some pics of the boys, sorry Ripley, I didn't have any pictures of you!