SCHOOL: Blue Springs High School

ACADEMIC HONORS: Class rank 1 of 506 students, 4.469 GPA, National Merit Commended Scholar, ACT 34 Composite, AP Scholar with Distinction, Missouri Scholars 100, 2-year national qualifier of the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad

SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES: Founder and president of Association for Cultural and Ethnic Diversity, Cellist in KC Metro All-District Orchestra, volunteering at local nursing homes and senior centers with ethnic and folk string quartet performances, president of Math Club (project recognized as 2013 Prudential Spirit of Community Distinguished State Finalist), vice president of Students Against Destructive Decisions

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

If you are willing to fight for your success, then take as many challenging classes as possible, and get involved in a club or even make a club of your own. Signing up for advanced classes - even in areas that you may be weak in - will greatly help you in the long run, both after high school and college.

Who was your favorite teacher and why?

Mr. Manuel, my pre-AP and AP Chemistry teacher, was my favorite teacher because he is an expert in the field of chemistry. His passion for the sciences inspired all of his students. Although he is now retired, he still returns to the high school to help chemistry students and is always a reliable resource.

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

I enjoy reading, listening to music and playing the cello. But I also love playing intellectually-stimulating computer games. Computer games allow me to be creative and do interesting things like guide political, economic and social dynamics of a medieval country or explore distant lands. Everything that I do in my free time helps me expand my views on both the past and present.

What college do you plan to attend and why?

I will be attending the California Institute of Technology for chemical engineering because it is the best school in the world for sciences. The top scientists of the modern era have been products of Caltech, the people there are stunningly intelligent and great people in general. Caltech is a fascinating environment where becoming fantastic scientists is the top priority.

What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?

In 10 years I will either be conducting cancer research or helping to distribute the cure that I hopefully helped discover. I will still be very close to my family and maybe will have started one of my own. But whatever I will be doing, helping society is my greatest goal, so I will completely devote myself to beneficial research that will aid all of humanity. I want to be the person that all others aspire to be.

– Brandon Dumsky