This year’s class of 2020 in the St. Croix Valley has high aspirations and is fueled by their passions. They are busy planning their futures and preparing themselves for their final year of high school before facing the next steps. For them, the paths are numerous, and the options are infinite. Three students, from three different schools and pursuing different careers, have the same drive and dedication to present themselves as best as they can: Charlie Neuenschwander, Maddie Whittington
St. Croix Preparatory Academy
Excited to explore the world through her creative eye, Miriam Cooper, a senior at St. Croix Prep, is an outstanding student and exceptional human being. She values people’s happiness and well-being above anything else.
This past year she was selected as the U.S. Ambassador for a program called Junior Advisory Board, along with 14 other students from 14 different countries who met at the IE University in Madrid to answer a problem, come up with a product and pitch their ideas to a board of directors. The prompt she worked on was about artificial intelligence and its involvement in higher education.
She has a variety of interests, including art, photography and foreign languages. Her desire to see the world and learn by traveling has led to her making the decision to attend IE University in Madrid.
“People say they want to travel the world, but you have to put your mind to it if you want to actually do it,” Miriam says. “There is only so much school can teach you. You can learn so much more during a week abroad than a week in the classroom.”
If you could sit down with one person, dead or alive, and talk with them for an hour, who would you choose and why?
“There is this one lady I had to research for a history project last year. Her name is Grace O’Malley. She lived during the 1400s and she was an actual pirate queen. At the time, England was trying to overtake Ireland and Scotland. Grace was fighting the British pirates and Queen Elizabeth captured her sons, so Grace decided to get them back. She took a fleet, walked into London and demanded to see the Queen. Grace proves to them that she isn’t a savage. She spoke in fluent Latin, was really educated and she stopped Ireland from being taken over by the English for 150 years. She was influential, but no one has ever heard of her.”
What cause are you most passionate about?
“World peace is really important. If you aren’t trying to overcome hatred and actively trying to bring love and kindness into your own life, how do you expect it to happen on a broader scale? Everyone has to make a change within themselves first.”
National Honor Society
President 4H club twice, eighth grade and this year
St. Michael’s College Award