NextStepU is proud to announce the winners of Super Teens 2012!
These extraordinary teens stood out from hundreds of applicants by taking on leadership roles, overcoming adversity or demonstrating dedication and perseverance. We are pleased to honor their accomplishments by sharing their stories with you! Congratulations to our Super Teens!
Juliana Batista is a senior at Algonquin Regional High School in Southborough, Mass. with a passion for community service and a love of the arts. Batista says that her “passion, creativity and curiosity” are what fuel her interactions with others.
She serves as an elected member of Regional Health and Wellness Advisory Board, tutors younger high school students in math and Spanish, is actively involved in her church youth group and also founded “Keys for Kids” as a way to share her love of music with others. Batista credits her many achievements and continued success to a strong support system of family and friends and to her dedication to the things she loves.
Responsibility, leadership and drive are the three words that best describe Dan Bernstein, a junior at Lexington High School in Lexington, Mass. When he is not busy with investment club, class council, varsity swim team or mock trial, Bernstein can also be found volunteering for H.O.P.E. (Helping Out People Everywhere) and tutoring others.
His ambition to succeed is fueled by a strong desire to better the world around him, and he is already doing that by helping others and leading by example. While he has yet to decide on a college major, Bernstein is greatly interested in history, environmental studies, sustainability and international studies.
Adrianna Burnham of Proctor Junior-Senior High School in Proctor, Vt. enjoys listening to others, giving advice and most of all, putting others before herself.
She is actively involved in a number of organizations including Vacation Bible School, Upward Bound and soccer club. In September 2011, Burnham was nominated to the New England Student Leadership Conference where she had the opportunity to put her leadership skills to use as she led students through a ropes course and other difficult tasks.
After graduating high school, Burnham plans to major in psychology and art in college in order to someday work with autistic children to help better their lives.
Andrew Collins believes, “You don’t necessarily have to be in a position of power to make a great change—sometimes it just takes initiative.”
As a senior at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, R.I., Collins is passionate about improving the special education system. He understands the challenges of being a student with special needs and advocates for himself and others as a member of his school’s Youth Action Committee, the Learning Disability Association of America, and co-founder of the Rhode Island Chapter of Autistic Self Advocacy Network.
Collins hopes to one day serve in a position where he can write new policies for education in the United States.
With an interest in immunology, biology and artificial intelligence, Frances Coronel plans to put these passions to use in biomedical technology and research.
As a junior at Maury High School in Norfolk, Va., Coronel serves as fundraising manager for Spanish Honor Society, is an active member of National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club and a member of National Society of High School Scholars. Coronel also serves as co-president of “Operation Smile,” which focuses on fundraising to benefit children across the globe in need of cleft palate surgery.
She dreams of one day finding a cure for worldwide diseases through research in South America and/or Africa.
A big voice is Jasmin Davis’ strongest characteristic. From singing to speaking out, she uses her talents to set examples of strength, responsibility and service.
Davis is a senior at Randolph Henry High School in Saxe, Va. where she is actively involved in FBLA and SCA, is a member of the softball team, library club and the senior planning board. She volunteers at a local nursing home and local elementary school.
After high school, Davis plans to major in either pediatrics or psychology in college and hopes to one day open her own practice.
The power of a positive attitude and open mind can be found in Karolina De Los Santos, senior at Heritage High School in Newport News, Va. De Los Santos is focused on helping others. Not only is she president of FBLA, a member of DECA Club and a member of the varsity softball team, but she also volunteers at local healthcare fairs.
De Los Santos plans to major in business and eventually become a pharmaceutical representative, a role in which she plans to help make prescription medicine more affordable for low-income families.
Before she heads off to college to major in political science and law, Katelyn Gebbia plans to continue her work as a student, part-time employee and volunteer in her hometown of Rehoboth Beach, Del.
A junior at Cape Henlopen High School, Gebbia describes herself as organized, detail-oriented, creative and fun. She is a member of the National Honor Society, an ambassador for the National Society for High School Scholars, president of the FCCLA and the debate team, and a member of John Hopkins Talented and Gifted Students Program.
Gebbia also volunteers for Lullaby House, Inc., is an English tutor and participates in Youth in Government League as a youth senator.
Rather than spending time on Facebook or watching television like many of her peers, Imani Nichols prefers to spend her time reading the works of Shakespeare and Robert Frost.
Currently a junior at Sussex Technical High School in Greenwood, Del., Nichols keeps herself busy, but not so busy that she loses sight of what really matters—making a difference. She volunteers at the Bay Health Medical Center, is a youth leader for Heritage Christian Cathedral Temple of Judah (where she participates in arts and crafts sessions as well as offers peer tutoring) and serves on the Youth Philanthropy Board.
Nichols plans to double major in creative writing (English) and Italian with a minor in psychology.
Bansri Patel is a student, community leader and role model. Only a sophomore in Sussex Technical High School in Delaware, Patel is highly motivated, determined and ready for any challenge life may bring.
As if Key Club, math league, Science Olympiad and Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) weren’t enough, Patel is also involved in Student Government and volunteers at a local hospital. This opportunity has only helped grow Patel’s interest in the medical field and strengthened the dream of one day becoming a doctor.
Currently, Patel is organizing a service project to help raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Cancer Society in honor of a fellow classmate recently diagnosed with cancer.
Olivia Sequin of Sturgis Charter Public School in South Yarmouth, Mass. first discovered her love for leadership during a trip to Washington D.C. for a People to People Leadership Program in the sixth grade.
Two years later, Sequin was selected to receive the Scholar Leader Award for her school. As a leader, Sequin believes in the importance of encouragement. She even developed an initiative called “Smile Cards” where students write compliments on cards for other students in order to encourage one another.
In addition to making others smile from compliments, Sequin also enjoys bringing joy to people through food. She founded “Olivia’s Dessert and Catering” in 2010 and plans to pursue a degree in hospitality.
For Lauren Wheeler of Notre Dame High School in Bridgeport, W.Va., academic excellence and a strong moral compass are most important for a successful life. She believes in putting the needs of others ahead of her own and when faced with adversity, Wheeler credits her faith for having the strength to stand up for what she believes in.
She is actively involved in multiple varsity sports, National Honor Society and Key Club. Outside of school, Wheeler volunteers as a mentor for Big Sister/Little Sister, as a teacher’s aide for Vacation Bible School and as a peer minister and Eucharistic minister for her local church.
She plans to go to college and major in materials engineering with a minor in business.