Discus Award Winner
11th Grade, IL
Growing up, I had always been a high-achiever in mathematics. When I was in first grade, for example, my teacher was teaching a lesson. She was attempting to tell students that the first number in a subtraction problem must be a negative number. "What about negatives?" I piped up! It was at this time that my parents and I knew that I was a gifted math student. When I was in ninth grade, I applied and was accepted to study at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. I have never received a "B" or lower even while studying at such a prestigious academy and know that this is a trend that will continue. It is here and in my future college career that I hope to advance the human condition.
Since I have been young, I have always been passionate about giving to and helping others. Working with Christmas Crossroads, volunteering at concession stands, and other opportunities was something that I always took the initiative to do. This past school year alone, I have dedicated myself and completed a ton of service hours, while keeping a very active social and academic life. I have given my service to LGBTQ youth, answering questions about coming out and how to handle relationships and many other relationship topics via a blog. I have also been volunteering at my state's STEM-Education provider, Kids' Institute, a program that provides lesser-fortunate teens with the opportunities to explore math and science endeavors.
I recently began work on my Scientific Inquiry and Research Program project. This project is going to measure the comfortableness and ability of students to "come out" as a member of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) community. This project will hopefully lead my school and others to be more welcoming and supportive of future students and provide the best education for them that they possibly can. I have been an activist for the LGBTQ community at my school in other ways as well; I am the Spectrum/Gay Representative on the Peer Multicultural Educators Board and helped organize a "Day of Silence" to show how LGBTQ members feel when they are being bullied.