It hasn’t been easy. They have toiled and excelled in the classroom. Struggled and triumphed on the playing field. Grappled with self-doubt and cultural differences to overcome significant challenges and succeed.

This month, thousands of young Mainers are making one of life’s great transitions at high school graduations across the state. We asked area high school administrators to identify seniors who, because of heart, talent or toughness, are likely to make a difference in the world.

Here are the stories of 10 remarkable members of the class of 2017 and their journeys so far. They include two immigrants, several social activists and a student who was largely home-schooled.

Their career goals include nursing, neurology, civil rights law and international conflict resolution. They’re focused on cleaning up the planet, caring for children, fixing cars and putting people on Mars.

One worked so hard in high school, he’s skipping his freshman year at the University of Maine. Another did so well at Portland Arts and Technology High School, she’s starting a full-time job in her intended profession immediately after graduation.

They have already accomplished and overcome so much – including language barriers and learning disabilities – and they want to do more.