Family: Melissa (mom), James (dad), Alex (brother)
City of residence: Lakeville
What are your plans after graduation?
I will be attending Gustavus Adolphus College in the fall to study either biology or environmental studies.
Why did you choose this direction/field of study?
I have always enjoyed the outdoors and learning about my environment around me. We only have one Earth, and if I can learn and study it, maybe I can help make improvements to a more sustainable world.
Did you have a mentor who helped you in some way? Who were they? How did they help?
All of my teachers that I have had impacted me in some way through my 13 years of school. They all have helped me grow to the person I am today. I am thankful for each and everyone of them. They helped me learn to challenge myself in academics. They have helped me find a balance between social life and school work. I don’t know where I would be without the teachers I have had.
What has been the most difficult part about the changes in learning models this year?
I think the most difficult part was the constant changes we had because it felt like once I got used to one model we would change to another. However, I worked through the challenges and overcame them this year. Another challenge this year was staying in contact with some of my friends. Being a distance learner some of my friends were hybrid so it was hard to not see them in the school setting or meet up with them because of the pandemic.
What have you, your friends, and your family done to make the most of the situation?
My family is very close with each other so we constantly checked in with one another. Plus we tried to do fun activities as a family that was safe for everyone. For example we did day trips to places outside, and we had family game nights. With my friends we tried to check in when we could and we even tried having a party over Zoom, which was interesting.
What’s your favorite memory about high school?
I have so many great memories of my high school years and I can’t choose one. Some of the highlights were being a part of the Rosemount High School Marching Band and getting to experience all those field shows, the Macy Day Parade and spending time with everyone in the band. I am thankful that I got to experience the wonderful opportunities and welcoming family-like community at the School of Environmental Studies. In addition to my wonderful memories in high school I am so grateful that I was able to travel across the world to spectacular places with school before COVID hit because it opened my eyes to new cultures.
What advice would you give to younger students?
I would say to try and find a balance between academics and schoolwork because life is not all about school. Yes, education is important but so is the time you spend with your family and friends. I would also advise younger students to check out the School of Environmental Studies because this school is amazing! I loved every minute of my two years there and I believe that I have gained so many wonderful memories, friends and life skills at this school.