Here at StyleBlueprint and all over the news, adults are profiled for their notable accomplishments. With all the current news, the standouts in our community are in fact not just the adults, but the youth in our society. Recently we contacted every high school in Louisville, looking for local students that they were proud to recommend for their achievements. Beyond just academic achievements, these individuals are all impressive for their service to others and their initiatives in the community and beyond. These are the students that local high schools recommended, and we are wholly impressed. By no means is this a comprehensive list, and we would love to keep this conversation going. This generation shows a capacity for leadership, compassion and ambition that is exceptional. Keep up the great work!
Assumption High School
In addition to an impeccable academic record, with a 4.0 cumulative grade point average and the distinctions of being an AP Scholar and a McAuley Scholar, Bella Beilman is most known for her activity in the political realm. She founded the Young Politician’s Club at Assumption High School, where “students come together in a bipartisan manner to encourage civic action and voter registration.” She has been active in the YMCA Youth Association’s Kentucky Youth Assembly (KYA) all four years of high school. She was the Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky at KYA her freshman and sophomore year, then was elected Governor her junior and senior year. With this distinction as Governor, she traveled to Washington D.C. to join a group of model legislative governors from across the nation. At Assumption, she is also the president of her Student Y Club and participates in the Rose Theatre Company.
Fern Creek High School
This successful young woman has a rigorous academic schedule, is a Governor’s Scholar and scored a 28 on the ACT. She is also influential in Fern Creek’s award-winning program, Ivy Plus Academy, which prepares top performing students for acceptance into Ivy League Colleges with substantial success. One of her teachers once said that “Amaya is the rare student I have had the pleasure to teach who challenges me intellectually.” She is an advocate for underclassmen girls that are struggling in school, acting as a compassionate and empathetic mentor to them. Her interests and hobbies are not all academic though. When asked what she likes to do, her response was, “I love reading so much! I love to stargaze and to play my guitar. Also, I love animals, all of them, except spiders.”
Sacred Heart Academy
Margaret is known for being “a compassionate leader who has an intrinsic desire to serve others.” Margaret is very active with service initiatives and acts as a role model for young women. Her involvement with the Community Awareness Committee at Sacred Heart, along with the King Scholar Program and the Summer Enrichment Program, have all given her the chance to serve as a leader and a mentor. She is also a gifted student and artist. But it is her involvement with the organization Her Best Foot Forward that has had the most impact on her life. This organization helps women and their families in Tanzania by providing clean water, healthcare and education to an underserved community. Margaret has personally organized fundraisers for this organization and recruited many people to share in her passion. When asked about her goals, Margaret says, “In tandem with pursing my career in physical therapy, I aspire to become a role model and a sponsor for girls like me who would otherwise be unable to afford a Sacred Heart education and instill in them the same skills and values I was taught, which allow me to succeed.”
Sacred Heart Academy
Leah Goldberg is an ambassador at heart and has been involved in leadership opportunities and positions since she first enrolled in Sacred Heart. She is very involved in the Muhammad Ali Center, combining her passion for female empowerment with learning more about inclusion and social justice. At the Ali Center, she served on a council of students, participated in the UCREW program and was selected to speak at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration. She is also a part of the Global Leadership Adventure Ambassador Program, which took her all the way to Costa Rica last summer where she helped to build bridges and garden centers. She is a school ambassador at Sacred Heart, on the Valkyrie Beat leadership team, mentor to students at the dePaul School and Vice President of the Fight for Confidence Club. She wants to attend American University and go on to a career in philanthropic leadership.
Assumption High School
Lauryn is one of the select few in town that have scored a perfect 36 on the ACT, has a 4.0 cumulative grade point average, is a Governor’s Scholar and is a National Merit Finalist. Also, she is a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Science National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta (Math Honor Society) and Spanish Honor Society. But it is Lauryn’s experience on the cross country team that makes her unique. Not only is she a talented athlete (holding the school record for the 4-by-400 meter relay) and captain of the team, Lauryn initiated a recycling program in the Louisville Metro Parks system on her own. After seeing so many discarded plastic drink bottles in garbage cans at the parks where she ran, she proposed that there be recycling receptacles next to the garbage cans to cut down on the waste. She received a District 9 Distinguished Citizen Award for this initiative. Now, every time you recycle a bottle at a public park, think of Lauryn.
Sacred Heart Academy
When Kate Harty and her friend and fellow junior at Assumption High School Emma Bartley met a refugee student through Catholic Charities, they were at once so impressed with her work ethic and desire to continue her education into college. But, they were taken aback by how hard it was for this refugee — with little to no resources at her disposal — to go through the college application process. After their meeting with this refugee student, both Kate and Emma created the organization PAVE the Way through Catholic Charities, which helps to provide college planning resources for all refugee students. Every month, she has sessions at Catholic Charities to continue her service to them. Kate says “This program is important to me because I hope to help the refugees who are working toward their futures and also because this has a positive influence on my own community.” Kate is very involved at Sacred Heart; she is an International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate, a Sacred Heart Academy ambassador, is involved in many clubs, runs track and is on the dance team. Kate is still exploring different career fields, but she is interested in the field of biomedical engineering. “Regardless of what I choose to do, I hope to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of an existing method or process in my chosen occupation,” she says. “I also hope I can inspire others to be passionate and work hard toward their goals.”
Yennifer Coca Izquierdo
Iroquois High School
Yennifer moved to the United States as a child with no knowledge of the language or the culture here. She quickly assimilated the culture and the language all while being very active in the Cuban community here in Louisville. She is a natural journalist, having published an article for the Spanish language publication El Kentubano, which has over 10,000 readers. She is also involved in the Louisville Story Program Project through Spalding University, where she is one of nine young authors picked to document life over the course of a year in their individual communities. These works will all be combined into a professional book that will be published in September 2018. Yennifer will be writing about the local Cuban American community. Yennifer’s school counselor describes her as “incredibly driven and hard-working. What may distinguish her more from other students is that she is a true learner — she’s deeply curious, works hard and has the courage to try new things and take risks. Having moved to the United States with absolutely zero English proficiency or understanding of American culture, she has never had the luxury to not take risks.” Yennifer wants to continue to celebrate and bring together the local Cuban community in Louisville and to branch out to other ethnic communities here as well in order to create a deeper understanding and respect of all cultures.
Maria, a senior at Presentation Academy, has a vested interest in international affairs, more specifically the plight of refugees around the world. Maria has participated in mission trips to Auxier, KY and Belize. She has also hosted exchange students from Guatemala and China, expanding her international knowledge on a personal level. She considers this a higher calling and as she says, “I am extremely passionate about putting an end to the global refugee crisis.” Maria is currently making a documentary film about refugees in Louisville and their journey to this city. She is working with Catholic Charities during the creation of this film, interviewing several of their clients for her story. When she is not making this film, she spends much of her time tutoring refugees, teaching them English. Currently, she is planning a fundraiser in April for scholarships for refugees, working with the Community Foundation to ensure its success. When she is not busy doing all these things, she runs cross country and track and is involved in the STEM Club, the National Art Honor Society and the National Honor Society.
St. Xavier High School
When describing Andrew Klem, his counselor said he is a “very principled young man of faith; he is not afraid to stand up for what is right and willingly engages in dialogue. He is an incredibly inclusive individual, always trying to engage the underdog. He is approachable, articulate, sincere and mature and moves in the world with a gentle spirit and kind heart.” Along with his friend and teammate Jack Schreperman, he formed S.C.O.R.E. or Soccer Connections Outreach and Enrichment, a nonprofit organization that serves refugee children and hosts soccer camps during the summer for them. This involved research, consulting an attorney, raising the money for equipment, developing a curriculum and recruiting volunteers — all before the camps even began. He has numerous academic accolades and is an honors and AP student. He is also very involved with campus ministry, retreat programs and other faith-based activities.
Louisville Collegiate School
It was her involvement in Louisville Girls Leadership her sophomore year that sparked Jacquelyn’s interest in serving to empower herself and her peers. Now she is on the Steering Committee of the Louisville Girls Leadership program as a co-chair. Notably, she co-founded the Young Asian Leaders of America, which is a national youth initiative that highlights and advocates for Asian American issues. She is currently the Operations Director for that organization and manages all the content production across the nation. In addition to those leadership positions, Jacquelyn is the captain of the Quick Recall Team, the French Club president, the Concertmaster for Collegiate’s orchestra and the lead attorney on the Mock Trial Team. She also plays tennis and tutors local refugees in English.
St. Francis School
Adelaide lives by the wise words her mother told her and her sisters growing up: “Give two things to everyone we come in contact with every day — a smile and a compliment.” She took this advice and started the Encouragement Club at St. Francis School. Adelaide and the 20 students in her club make sure that all students feel encouraged, loved and appreciated with simple acts of kindness such as little notes left on students’ lockers, known as “Locker Hugs.” She also started the “Take What You Need” project during finals, where students had tear-off options such as “positivity,” “optimism,” “patience,” “hope,” “peace” and “joy.” She hopes to expand this project to bus stops around the downtown area for the community to enjoy. She realizes that sometimes it’s something as simple as a smile that can “go a long way in making someone’s day.” In addition to this Encouragement Club, she plays field hockey and basketball and enjoys other school activities.
duPont Manual High School
Sanya is focused on female empowerment and specifically, on education. She states “I passionately believe in the power of girls’ education.” She spent three days in India at a girls’ school, where she assimilated into the culture there and realized all that she could do to help them, even all the way from Louisville, KY. Back home, she has raised over $2,000, fundraising for this school. She is actively involved in the Girl Up club, which is a national organization that helps girls all over the globe. She is an organizer and a doer with a strong heart for humanitarian and social justice issues. She quotes Nelson Mandela, who said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” With Sanya fighting for equal educational access for girls across the globe, her advocacy work is not only making a direct impact, but it sets an inspiring example.
St. Francis School
In eighth grade, Gabe traveled to Ghana to an orphanage called the Offin Children’s Center. This orphanage is unique because it offers not just immediate-need care for the children, but it also educates them for as long as they stay. Gabe has been to Ghana twice and is very committed to helping this school with his trips and his fundraising efforts from back home in Louisville. Gabe and his mother are now creating a website for this school and have organized a Facebook page as well. They are in the process of collecting videos and photographs for this very purpose. “My experiences taught me how vital service is in a world with such a diverse range of problems,” says Gabe. “I realized that my work, however little it was, helped over 300 children. All it took was a willingness to put in work to fix a problem.” In the future, Gabe wants to become a doctor and do international aid work.
Kentucky Country Day
Lilly is an all-around student at Kentucky Country Day, who, according to her principal, “epitomizes the school motto: Citizen, Scholar, Steward.” She is a Governor’s Scholar as well as the captain of the varsity volleyball and swim teams. She also is a track and field athlete and plans on competing in track and field when she goes to college at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) next year. She is an educational justice activist and uses her talents to tutor in the school’s peer writing center.
Kentucky Country Day
Amber is an ambitious entrepreneur who took her love for photography and started her own photography business. She now shoots professional photographs for family portraits, sporting events and even weddings. In addition to her focus on the arts and academics, she plays on the field hockey team. She is also in the Student Ambassador Club, the Executive Committee for Yearbook and a participant in the immersive French foreign exchange program. Amber will attend the University of Kentucky after graduation and wants to study Public Relations and French, and, of course, continue her photography.
Trinity High School
Though only a senior in high school, Jared will have earned his private pilot’s license by the time he graduates this spring. He has logged over 35 hours of recorded flight time and has completed a solo flight. He has also managed to achieve a 3.66 cumulative GPA, in addition to all this flying time. Jared will attend the University of Louisville J.B. Speed School of Engineering and plans to study mechanical engineering and pursue a career in aviation. Jared believes that “Almost every successful person begins with two beliefs: the future can be better than the present, and I have the power to make it so.”
St. Xavier High School
Jack Schrepferman and his teammate Andrew Klem (listed above) were only sophomores when they created the nonprofit organization S.C.O.R.E. Louisville (Soccer Connections Outreach and Enrichment) after working with refugee children, tutoring them and teaching them soccer. This nonprofit uses soccer as the means to teach communication skills, to teach English and to unite together as part of a team. They started the organization from scratch, which meant hiring an attorney to resolve all legal issues surrounding the creation of a nonprofit and also operational issues such as equipment procurement, curriculum development and volunteer recruitment. Both Jack and Andrew were awarded the Youth in Philanthropy Award on National Philanthropy as a result. Jack plays soccer and was a crucial part of their State Championship victory. When he is not busy with all his soccer and service, he has a 4.1 GPA and excels in the honors and AP curriculum. He wants to major in business in college.
Iroquois High School
Afi Tagnedji is a leader at Iroquois High School — she is the junior class president and an excellent student with a 4.0 GPA. She is also very involved in activities inside and outside of school and a leader in the Naval Science Program at her school. Her leadership skills caught the attention of the JCPS administration and she was asked to sit on the District Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council. Created in 2012 and comprised of students from various high schools across the district, this group provides the JCPS superintendent and senior staff with “feedback on ways the district could improve students’ overall experience in order to create awareness and strategy around tough JCPS issues. In 2016 the committee was renamed LIFT — for Learn, Invest, Friend, Teacher — in order to represent a movement in JCPS towards supporting the student voice.” Afi’s passion is equality as it relates to students with their school assignment and their access to all available programs at all JCPS schools.
duPont Manual High School
Allison Tu loves science and wants other youth to love it as well. Last year, she started two organizations: STEMY (STEM + Youth) and StaMINA (Student Alliance for Mental Health Innovation and Action). STEMY is a nonprofit organization with a team of 25 student leaders that go to local schools and teach students how to be successful in STEM areas. She started this from the ground up, creating and managing the mission and programming, marketing the program and recruiting leaders. StaMINA addresses youth mental health issues and is entirely driven by students. They performed a research study, created a youth conference and are taking active steps to improving Kentucky students’ general well-being. Allison has also served as a Board Member for the Kentucky Department of Education Commissioner’s Student Council, a statewide youth advisory committee for the Kentucky Commissioner of Education. In addition to these organizations, Allison has a 4.7 GPA and scored a perfect 36 on the ACT. Her teacher describes Allison as “constantly driven in both academics and community work and does all of this with a beautiful smile on her face and the kindest of hearts.”
Holy Cross High School
Keeton Thornsberry is a running phenom with individual state titles in both cross country and track and field the last two years. He also helped his Holy Cross High School team win their first state championship last year, which was the first in their school’s history. He was recently named the Kentucky Gatorade Runner of the Year. When he is not breaking records with his running, find him on the basketball court. Keeton has played varsity basketball since his freshman year. In addition to his athletic accolades, he is ranked third in his class and maintains a 4.45 GPA. Personally, he loves working with children, and he volunteers at St. Lawrence Church, Notre Dame Academy, Mary Queen of Peach Church and St. Joseph’s Orphanage. He wants to study medicine and be a pediatrician.
We are so proud that of these talented young Louisvillians!
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