Congratulations to this year’s Prep Elites, who were nominated by their schools for our annual feature. It’s always difficult to decide among a worthy group of local teens, who strive in their own ways to make it to “the top.” Here are this year's Prep Elites: Alex Edstrom, Monica Rampetsreiter, Gavin Peterson
Maria Paula Cadena Amortegui
Osseo Senior High
Extra-curriculars: Robotics (Judges’ Award – Robotics, High Honors 2016-present), member of the Math Team, Student Ambassadors, Symphonic Orchestra and National Honor Society
MPG: What do you wish you could have told your freshman self?
MPCA: I would encourage myself to branch out more ... Before high school, I was a quiet and reserved individual ... but, as I continue my high school career, I am becoming more and more confident in reaching out to others … The relationships that I have made in high school would have never happened if I had not taken the risk of putting myself out there.
MPG: What is the most important way in which you gave back to your high school or community?
MPCA: … by supporting my classmates and helping whenever someone needs an extra set of hands. It’s important to work together to help make stressful times as easy as possible, which can make all the difference in high school. Helping different clubs and events is another way I support my school and community.
MPG: What did you learn from that experience?
MPCA: I learned how to work as a team to efficiently accomplish a goal. I have a better understanding of the importance of good communication between group members ... Every member has his or hers role that [is] equally as crucial.
MPG: What are your post high school plans?
MPCA: I plan to become a professional engineer ... I also want to travel internationally ... and experience different cultures.
MPG: Give us three words to describe yourself.
MPCA: Respectful, hard-working and confident
“Maria Paula is an enthusiastic, engaged, talented student, who works well with her classmates and makes Osseo Senior High a better place. She was born in Colombia and moved to the United States as a young child. Despite learning English as a second language, Maria Paula excels in her [A. P. World History class.] A Renaissance woman, she is one of the few females in the robotics program, where she captains her team ...” —Michael Lehan, principal