SCHOOL: Blue Springs South High School

ACADEMIC HONORS: AP Scholar, National Honor Society, French National Honor Society, Principal's Honor Roll

SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES: Involved with theater (school, community and professional around Kansas City), community service with Coterie Theatre and Lakeside Nature Center, four years of Forensics, four years as a witness for the state-qualifying mock trial team, French Vice President of Modern Language Club, NHS Philanthropist, Scholar Bowl

What advice do you have for next year's freshmen?

To next year's freshman: Start getting involved right away. Even if you have to start off small, get your foot in the door so that by your senior year, you can be a leader. Also, talk to upperclassmen; they've been through most of the same challenges you will go through, and want to help you. And above all else, be yourself. It's hard at first, but in the end, it's much more rewarding to stand out than it is to blend in.

Who was your favorite teacher and why?

My favorite teacher was Mrs. Bertrand. She was my English teacher sophomore year, which was great because she helped me realize that I wanted to be a writer early on. She was also my English teacher senior year. This past year she helped me with college admissions by looking over some essays and giving me general advice. She helped me be confident in my skills, and I owe her a lot for that.

When you were not in school or studying, what did you enjoy doing?

In my free time I enjoy reading, writing, watching movies and TV and spending time with my friends. I also like exploring the Internet because there are so many possibilities, from shopping to research.

What college do you plan to attend and why?

In the fall I'll be attending the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. I'll be studying Writing for the Screen and Television at the School of Cinematic Arts. In the end, I chose USC because it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. It's a beautiful campus with industry-standard facilities. My major accepts about 26 students out of thousands, so I was honored to be chosen as one. On top of that, USC was the first campus I had ever toured, and it was love at first sight. I'm so beyond excited to be able to study there.

What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?

I hope that in 10 years I'll be working in the film or television industry. I would love to be a television writer. Eventually I'd like to have a family. Other than that, I don't really have a plan because I am excited to try new things and experience life at the fullest.