Plans after graduation: I plan to attend MTSU in the fall to study forensics.

Club memberships or organizations: I have played the French horn and mellophone in my high school’s marching band and symphonic band since my freshman year. My junior year I started a science club at my school along with my fellow co-valedictorian, Tabitha Camargo. Since my junior year I have been part of the National Honor Society.

In the summer before my senior year, I was a part of the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program for science. Since my senior year begun I have become an editor for “In Big Red Letters,” my school’s journal comprised of writing submissions from fellow students. I have also joined the creative writing club and have been inducted into the Spanish Honor Society.

Biggest influence on your life and why: The biggest influence on my life would have to be my sophomore year biology teacher, Mrs. Beck. I have always been interested in science, but this was fueled in her classroom every day. She would discuss science with me as if I were an adult, during a time when I was treated like a child by everyone else. She gave me science literary magazines every month, even after I finished the course, simply to encourage my interests. When I had a desire to begin a science club, she was the one person to support the club, allow us to use her classroom and monitor our activities. This one individual teacher encouraged my pursuit in science and my determination in further classroom settings.

Person/people from history you admire: Katherine Johnson, an African-American mathematician who combated all adversity she faced in the workplace and was responsible for calculations of orbital mechanics that were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. manned space flights. Alan Turing, an English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher and theoretical biologist. He created the Turing Machine/Christopher, a decoder that was crucial in defeating the Nazis. However, even with this, he was not given any credit, due to his homosexuality, until 2009 when British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a formal apology and then in 2013 when Queen Elizabeth II granted Turing a posthumous pardon.

Advice for other students: High school is a place to expand your education, understand your passions and prepare for college. However, it is easy to get lost under the stress of tests and grades and deadlines. My best advice would be to, during all the stress and pressure, still make the best of high school. If you find out that you are passionate about writing, take English and literature honors classes, join journalism and creative writing clubs, and if none are offered, start your own. Also, understand that your teachers want to help you and want you to learn and be prepared for the future. If you are struggling with passing the class and turning in assignments, talk to them, they understand. They are your best resource for doing well in school.

Favorite book(s): My favorite book is “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger.

Favorite music/musician(s): My favorite type of music is ’80s post-punk music, such as The Cure, The Smiths, or Echo and the Bunnymen.

Favorite movie(s): My favorite movie is a three-way tie between “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “Donnie Darko,” and “Pretty In Pink.”

Favorite quote or your philosophy: “The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.” — Nikola Tesla

Something people may not know about you: I have had a wide array of interests throughout the years that may not seem evident today. When I was a young child I took dance and art classes. I remember nothing of those now, nor do I have any interests in them. When I was a little older I became a black belt in Taekwondo, a skill that is sadly rarely used in everyday life. Finally as of last year I became a published writer in a scientific journal, through the Governor’s Honors Program, which is interesting because I am not known for my writing abilities.