The 20 Under 20 award recognizes high school seniors who are role models in their schools and community and demonstrate leadership.


What is your proudest accomplishment in high school: I am proudest of creating and facilitating an event at my school called Student Professional Development Day. This event will be held in April, and it will be a partial day of school in which members of the community come in and teach high school students practical life skills that aren’t normally taught in the classroom. I am proud to help my peers to be more independent and create a brighter future for themselves.


Person you admire and why: James Baldwin was an incredibly thoughtful human. He was able to express himself with an eloquence—both in writing and speaking – rarely seen in the world. This incredible capacity for articulate and emotive speech allowed him to communicate his goals of racial equality.


What is the best advice you’ve ever received: Not to be cliché but I would have to choose advice that Michael Scott gave to Dwight Schrute, “Don’t be an idiot.” I know that sounds simple, but I have found that few things in life are as concise while still remaining accurate. We could all avoid loads of unnecessary pain if just once and awhile we take a moment to consider our actions before we do them.


What are your college plans: I plan to attend Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and pursue a dual major in business management and accounting. I also plan to participate in many activities, such as faith groups and the Engaged Citizen Corps program.


What is one thing you’d like to accomplish in your lifetime: I want to be an entrepreneur just like my dad.


Person you admire and why: I most admire my younger brother, Ethan, for his humor and impenetrable resiliency.


What are your future goals: I want to become an accomplished author and illustrator, and I hope that the stories I tell will one day reach people and make them happy. If I can make one person in the world feel better, like they’re not alone, through my stories, then I will have lived a good life.


What is one thing you’d like to accomplish in your lifetime: After the possibility of holding an office or practicing law, at some point I would like to become a founder of an organization that tackles policy issues I enjoy studying, such as mental health complications, technology’s rapid advancement, and improvement upon education.


What are your college plans: I am heading to MIZZOU (Go Tigers!) to hopefully be a part of the diagnostic ultrasound and Pre-med programs. After that I plan to go to medical school with the end goal of becoming an obstetrician.


Person you admire and why: I have a lot of people that I praise, but surely, I do admire Marie Curie as an example of how one can achieve big goals without greed. She instead used passion in her works and research.


What is your proudest accomplishment in high school: My proudest accomplishment in high school would probably be when I placed first in the Business Finance Series event at DECA state competition during my junior year.


What was your favorite class in high school: My favorite class was chemistry, for a few reasons. Firstly, it deals very extensively with numbers, which is one of my stronger areas, and secondly, it was taught by someone who I knew was as dedicated to us as people as she was to us as students. She expected excellence, provided a strong example of character, and was approachable for questions in all areas of life not only chemistry.


What is your favorite club or extracurricular activity in high school: NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, has been a club I’ve attended since I was a freshman. The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel in the month of November, which isn’t an easy task, but I’ve actually succeeded — once! Though I don’t intend on ever publishing my work, the club has become a tight-knit community for me, and it’s one of my favorite parts of the week.


What is your proudest accomplishment in high school: One of my proudest accomplishments has been being a part of the first-ever all-female wrestling team and making it to state my first year.


What is the best advice you’ve ever received: To truly immerse yourself in the moment and not let results, expectations, and stressors distract you from having fun and growing.


What is your favorite club or extracurricular activity in high school: My favorite club in high school is the Interact Club. This club has helped me to discover my passion for providing service to others. I am currently serving in a community garden through a program that is run by the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture. This service work has shown me that by offering a fraction of my time during the week, I am able to help give others access to the things that I take for granted.

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