The sunrise in rural central Michigan reveals a landscape of neatly divided cornfields crossed by ditches and wooded creeks. But few of the sleepy teenagers on the school bus from Maple Valley Junior-Senior High School likely noticed this scene on their hour drive to Grand Rapids.

They set out from their tiny school district of about 1,000 students, heading to the closest big city for a college recruiting fair. About 151 colleges and universities were waiting.

Esther Honig / KUNC

Abdul Ghani Bin Abdul Munaf strolled through the halls of Greeley Central High School on the way to his next class. Ghani, the name he goes by, is 18 and has attended the school since January 2018.

"The school (was) a little big and I was really nervous," he said. "Like I'm a first time. Nobody know me, who I am and where I come from."

Ghani is a Rohingya Muslim. His parents are originally from Burma, also known as Myanmar, and immigrated to Malaysia before he was born.

Matt Bloom/KUNC

Underneath a blue sign reading “I will vote” in bold white print, 17-year-old Carlos “Carlitos” Rodriguez addressed a crowd in Littleton, Colorado about life since a former student shot and killed 17 of his peers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.