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: Gavin Peterson, Maria Paula Cadena Amortegui, Alex Edstrom
Academics: Academic letter winner; and member of the National Honor Society
Extra-curriculars: Math team, varsity softball, varsity tennis, music consortium, peer tutor, string quartet, cellist and pianist, nursing home volunteer
MPG: What do you wish you could have told your freshman self?
MR: ... It’s good to focus on your future but also enjoy where you are now. Go to the football game, hang out with friends, work hard and get some sleep.
MPG: What is the most important way in which you gave back to your high school or community?
MR: I volunteer at an Alzheimer’s home called Gianna Homes [plays cello and piano and visits with residents] ... I am a peer tutor for math and science and am also a member of National Honor Society.
MPG: What did you learn from that experience?
MR: ... Even the little things can make a person smile.
MPG: What are your post high school plans?
MR: ... study engineering or international business [and] study music and play tennis.
MPG: Give us three words to describe yourself.
MR: Joyful, thoughtful and hard-working
“ ... [Monica’s] academic ‘grit’ is clearly matched by athletic determination, as revealed in her competitive participation on both PA’s varsity softball and tennis teams ... Monica has been successful both as an individual player and as a respected leader on the team … Monica shines in mentoring other students, who face difficulties with the pressures of school, and demonstrates a genuine concern about student life. Monica is even keeled and calm in the way she tackles challenges ... there is a depth in her thoughtfulness and abilities ... Monica has been everything one could hope for
in a student ...” —PA administration