13. Destiny Reyes
Union High School
Attending: University of Oklahoma
Intended major: Psychology. For as long as I can remember, I have been captivated by the complexities of the human mind. I firmly believe that a great deal of healing can come about from understanding how and why the gears turn the way they do in one’s brain.
Biggest influence: My mother. She immigrated to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic almost three decades ago and set her life aside to provide for me and my siblings. Each and every one of my successes is a direct result of her sacrifices.
Proudest achievement: Auditioning and participating in the 2022 OKMEA All-State Orchestra as the principal flutist.
I would trade places for one day with: Steve Harvey. I could stand to learn a thing or two about his charisma and humor.
Unique characteristics: I have not surpassed 5’0” in height, I am overly inquisitive, I ask blunt questions and I will laugh at jokes that are not funny (told by myself more often than not) until the cows come home.
Surprising fact: I had to overcome having debilitating shyness throughout elementary and middle school. I currently struggle with anxiety and depression, but am actively trying to learn coping mechanisms in order to limit the amount that they affect my daily life. I am proud of all that I have accomplished despite these invisible battles.
Bonus tidbit: I am an avid card-deck collector, and they are my souvenir of choice for when I travel. I hope to someday travel to six of the seven continents … because what business do I have in Antarctica?
12. Rahul Rajesh
Attending: Indiana University
Intended major: Digital and Social Media Applications. I chose this major because I felt like it was future-proof. I always had a knack for technology and my parents told me I would be amazing in the business world, so I decided to put both those things together and commit to it.
Biggest influence:My grandma. Ever since I was born, she has been around me, motivating me and pushing me to my limits.
Proudest achievement: Reaching state in cross country with my friends. My running season that year was very bad – I ran into a lot of injuries and didn’t get the times I wanted. But I had my best friends around me, and we reached state.
Career plans: I know I want to work in the social media industry, but more specifically the ethical and algorithm sides. I want to change how social media works so it’s safe for everyone.
I would trade places for one day with: LeBron James. I want to have the feeling of being the best in my field for so long, but still be great in another thing. He runs a successful business, has a nice family, is one of the most dominant basketball players of all time, and is a nice person in his community and to people around him.
Unique characteristic: My laid-back attitude. I’m not the type of person to hold a grudge, and I’m able to move on from things.
Bonus tidbit: I’m actually born on February 29, so I’m a leap year baby. Being 4 years old does have its quirks!
11. Cate Mossman
Classen School of Advanced Studies at Northeast
Attending: Southern Methodist University
Intended major: Economics with a Film minor.
Biggest influence: My dad. He constantly supports and encourages me to seek positive change in the world, and catalyzed my passion for social justice and equality. His inspiring actions and attempts to better the world around him inspire me to do good.
Proudest accomplishment: I won the Library of Congress Exploration in History Award for a documentary my best friends and I created for the National History Day competition. The award was meaningful because our hard work and dedication were recognized by such prestigious institutions.
Career plans: I hope to have a career as a film producer. This job blends my creative and economic interests, while allowing me to work in an industry that excites and inspires me.
I would trade places for one day with: Wong Kar-Wai. He has one of the most creative minds in the world and I would love to experience what his filmmaking and storytelling process is like.
The next 10-20 years: As long as I am happy and own a cat, I will be content.
Unique characteristic: I am extremely determined and have a great deal of perseverance. Repeated dance injuries led to multiple hip surgeries early in my high school career. The injuries ended my dance career, but I was able to battle through pain, physical therapy and mental strain to find a new athletic path. I started running and proudly served as the girls’ cross country captain my senior year.
10. Caleb Mangesho
Jenks High School
Attending: Yale University
Intended major: English, probably specifying in Creative Writing, as a means of either going to law school or becoming a writer/teacher. I love English in particular because ever since I was a kid, I saw reading and writing as a better way of explaining and understanding the world around me.
Biggest influence: My parents, in three ways. First, both instilled in me the importance of education and hard work, as they came to America as African immigrants for the purpose of seeking a better education in university. Second, they encouraged me to be like Christ in everything I do. Third, they wanted me to be proud of my African heritage.
Proudest achievement: Publishing two books: The Pandemic Shuffle and Dreams of a Promise. The former book is a collection of over 40 poems that I wrote over the span of one year in 2020. The latter is a novel I wrote with my mom, based on her childhood as an orphan in Northern Uganda.
The next 10-20 years: My ambitious self says in 10-20 years I’m winning the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction or being a really good lawyer. I see myself in 10 years writing novels and working in a publishing house, helping people I believe are underrepresented in literature, especially black voices. In 20 years I’ll find myself either being a full-time writer or working for a law firm.
Unique characteristic: I just love learning on another level that even scares me. My mind often goes: ‘Learning for the sake of learning?! What kind of teenager are you?’ That determination has led to a lot of perfectionistic tendencies; stress and rigidity. But at the same time, that determination to learn and understand has weirdly opened me to reach out to others that are different from me, to make friends and grow as a person in general.
9. Abby Johnson
Holland Hall School
Attending: Vanderbilt University
Intended major: Biomedical Engineering. I have always been interested in helping people and doing good in the world, but I didn’t have an avenue to pursue that passion. After my grandfather underwent an amputation and my mom faced a scare with cancer, I knew I wanted to steer my passion to help create solutions to tackle those issues.
Biggest influence: I find myself constantly amazed and inspired by all of the strong women in my life. My mom, my grandmother, my aunts and my teachers have all played big roles in influencing me.
Proudest achievement: I am very proud about the balance that I have worked to find over the years. I tried to find success in multiple areas: academics, sports, student life and volunteering. I was on the Head of School Honor Roll all four years, captained both the field hockey and soccer teams, was an editor-in-chief on the yearbook staff for two years, an active member of Student Council and Holland Hall Ambassadors, and worked with the National Charity League and Company 21 Club.
I would trade places for one day with: Someone whose life is completely different from my own, like Kim Kardasian. That one would be so interesting and full of drama. The other would be to someone like Jeff Bezos or the owner of Google, to answer some questions about how those big industries in our society function.
Surprising fact: As responsible and organized as I am on the outside, my room can get to be a mess.
8. Alex Nguyen
Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics
Attending: Columbia University
Intended major: Data Science. I love applying statistics to solve real-world problems. It’s an easy way for math and numbers to improve lives.
Biggest influence: It’s really difficult to choose one person. First of all, Jesus guides my life and shows me how to love others. My parents have also impacted me greatly by inspiring me to work hard and try new things.
Proudest achievement: There was a policy debate tournament in Texas that I was beaten badly at for two consecutive years. At one point, my overall ballot record was 1-11. But when we returned for the third time – after a lot of practice, preparation and prayers – my debate partner and I finally won second place, finishing with an 11-1 record.
Career plans: One of my career dreams is to start my own company. I’d want to merge data science with policy.
I would trade places for one day with: Kanye West. Not that I want to be famous, but it would be interesting to learn how celebrities like him deal with all the attention they receive.
Unique characteristic: I’m a very curious person. When I was younger, I kept a Note Document for jotting down questions and ideas about anything ranging from black holes to philosophy. Now, I encourage myself to engage with new topics and experiences such as working in a biomedical lab and picking up interesting skills like programming.
7. Ella Eureste
Bishop Kelley High School
Attending: University of Arkansas
Intended major: Biology on a pre-med track. I want to pursue medicine because of my grandpa. When I was a little girl, he suffered from a heart attack, but because of medical science, he was saved. He is the most prominent figure of love in my life and one of my biggest role models.
Biggest influence: God. As a Christian, my morals and how I live my life are deeply rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Proudest achievement: Becoming a National Hispanic Scholar. This achievement highlights the time and effort I have dedicated to school and the national recognition feels as though my hard work has paid off. I am also beyond proud to represent the Hispanic community which continues to impact the world in an extraordinary way.
I would trade places for one day with: Hermione Granger because Harry Potter is my favorite book series of all time. I would love to experience Hogwarts, Diagon alley, a Quidditch game and all of the magic that is encapsulated in the wizarding world.
The next 10-20 years: In 10 years I see myself wrapping up medical school and residency. It would be awesome if I could get into a medical school in a major city so I could experience city life as a young adult. In 20 years I see myself having a family with kids of my own.
Unique characteristic: My cool head. I can stay calm and collected during stressful situations and rationalize a solution.
A surprising fact: I love thrift shopping and vintage shopping.
6. Evan Kamriguel
Broken Arrow High School
Attending: The University of Tulsa
Intended major: Electrical Engineering.
Biggest influence: My parents have obviously had the greatest influence on my life in every way, but if I had to name another person, it would be Bob Goff – lawyer, speaker and best-selling author; he encourages people to care for each other.
Proudest achievement: I did not want to burden my parents with the cost of college, so I set a long-term goal of achieving National Merit Finalist status. During COVID-19, I prepared for the PSAT exam every day. It was hard work, but eventually, it paid off, as I became a National Merit Finalist, which later helped me receive a full-tuition Presidential Scholarship from the University of Tulsa.
The next 10-20 years: In 10 years, I hope to be pursuing a career in electrical engineering, working on projects to enhance medical technologies. I would like to participate in projects not only aimed at improving medical devices but also their remote monitoring. In 20 years, I hope to be a partner or owner of an engineering firm. I look forward to preparing my children for the journey to higher education while mentoring as many students as possible in the community, who will hopefully do the same.
Unique characteristic: I think I am more community-oriented than many students my age. I created a math tutoring program in my high school, and it was very rewarding to see fellow students improve their math skills and overcome their fears.
Bonus tidbit: I have my own unique surname, Kamriguel, which combines my father’s last name, Kamrowski, and my mother’s last name, Sanmiguel.
5. Michelle Woolridge
Booker T. Washington High School
Attending: University of Missouri-Columbia
Intended major: Double major in Biology and Spanish on a pre-med track. Due to several teachers making my biology and Spanish classes enjoyable, I realized that I would like to further pursue my education in those areas.
Biggest influence: My parents! They’ve taught me numerous life lessons, such as integrity, hard work, kindness and the importance of education. I am forever grateful to them.
Proudest achievement: Becoming a Stamps Scholar at the University of Missouri.
Career plans: I currently plan on becoming a physician, specifically an otolaryngologist.
I would trade places for one day with: Michelle Alexander, the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. She’s extremely educated and influential in the area of prison reform, so I would love to know how she got to where she is today.
The next 10-20 years: If I don’t change my mind about going to medical school, then I’ll still be in residency in 10 years. In 20 years, I hope to be a practicing physician.
Unique characteristic: My drive! When I set a new goal, I make sure to do everything I can to achieve said goal, no matter how long it takes.
A surprising fact: I am bilingual.
4. Max Grunewald
Metro Christian Academy
Attending: Oklahoma Baptist University
Intended major: Biology so that I can pursue a career in the medical field and help others every day.
Biggest influence: I cannot choose only one – my biggest are my parents and my grandfather. My parents because of the examples they have shown me, and my grandfather for his ability to comfort others and leave others feeling happier than when they first met him.
Proudest achievement: Starting my own business with my brother and successfully running it since 2017.
Career plans: I plan to graduate college and go on to medical school to eventually become a radiologist.
I would trade places for one day with: A comedian. Comedy always makes people smile and laugh. One act like making someone laugh or smile can change someone’s day more than you could ever think.
The next 10-20 years: In 10 years I’ll still be in school studying, but in 20 years I’ll be out in the world working, helping people every day and raising a family.
Unique characteristic: I often think about the future and attempt to prepare for it. I also try to be a peacemaker in all situations and try to solve problems.
Bonus tidbit: I enjoy cooking for my friends.
3. Shanta Ramdas
Attending: The University of Chicago
Intended major: I plan to be undecided for at least the first year. I want to explore several areas before I choose, but I have always been interested in math. I want to minor in Spanish because I have a goal to be fluent by the end of college.
Biggest influence: My grandma, who I called YaYa, because she embodied kindness and gentleness. Everyone who knew her loved her.
Proudest achievement: Medaling at the SPC track meet, which is equivalent to a state meet, in the 800 meters my senior year. In a competitive field, I placed third while setting a new personal record and breaking my own school record.
I would trade places for one day with: Sinclaire Johnson, a professional middle distance runner who went to Oklahoma State University. It would be interesting to see what an actual day of a professional runner would be like. Pretty much entire days are devoted to training and recovery, and I think it would be cool to experience that, especially at that level.
A unique characteristic: Self-discipline. Both in academics and athletics, I hold myself accountable. Especially in long distance running, I have learned to do things that are hard, even when I really do not want to do them.
A surprising fact: Throughout high school I maintained an average of about 8.5 hours of sleep a night. Even while taking rigorous classes and achieving the highest grades, I always made sure to prioritize sleep.
2. Elizabeth Anne Williamson
Riverfield Country Day School
Attending: Jacksonville University
Intended major: Marine Science. I do not have a cool or inspiring story of how I came to the conclusion that I wanted to pursue it – I fell in love with sharks when I saw a picture of one on the cover of a book at my first grade book fair. Ever since then, I have wanted to work with sharks.
Biggest influence: My mom. She has always supported me and encouraged me to pursue what I love. Not only is she a great mom, but she is a great role model.
Proudest achievement: Making it to the semi-finals in a NASA Moon Pod Essay contest.
Career plans: I want to research sharks and/or work towards cleaning our oceans and helping to save the environment.
I would trade places for one day with: My younger self, so I could spend the day with my Opa – who has passed – and tell him about my life so far.
The next 10-20 years: In 10-20 years I hope that I will have my masters, have been in the Peace Corps, and have the amazing job of working towards saving our oceans and sharks … all while having appeared on Shark Week at least once.
Unique characteristic: I am very good at getting things done on time, or well ahead of time. I consider myself very responsible and able to juggle various commitments well.
Surprising fact: I am terrified of any and all bugs.
1. Madison Winsby
Augustine Christian Academy
Attending: Grand Canyon University
Intended major: Early Childhood Special Education. I spent four years volunteering with the Penguin Project, and this organization helped me develop a love for helping the special needs community in whatever way I can.
Biggest influence: Christi Rowland – one of my teachers in high school. She is such a strong, kind, caring person, and she does whatever she can to help others thrive. I really admire that. I strive to be half the woman she is.
Proudest achievement: My time spent volunteering with the Penguin Project.
Career plans: I hope to become a special education teacher, and one day start an organization that helps the special needs community thrive.
I would trade places for one day with: Someone over the age of sixty five. I feel it would be really interesting to see what life is like after so many experiences.
The next 10-20 years: I see myself teaching and starting a family.
Unique characteristic: I am a very outgoing, bubbly person, but I also try to put others’ successes before my own – which I feel is a quality that has really been lost nowadays.
Surprising fact: I have 60% hearing loss in my right ear!