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2008 Sterling Scholar winners

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Lindsey Brinton

West High School

Parents: Gregory and Sally Brinton

Salt Lake City

"I am from a family of nine and each member plays a musical instrument. Instruments include the cello, trumpet, clarinet, harp and piano. Playing together is always fun, but the real joy comes from performing piano concerts with my mother, a Juilliard graduate in piano performance, and my sister, who is also an accomplished pianist.

"I have had the unique opportunity of traveling to five continents with my family. Many trips are devoted to my performing and competing on the piano. Not only have I been exposed to different cultures, but I have also seen the powerful influence music has on people all over the world. Playing the piano and playing basketball are two of my passions. However, it is a challenge because jammed fingers don't do well on piano keys! I have jammed several fingers playing basketball and have had to lay off my piano practicing for a short period of time. I have learned to be cautious and deal with the risk of not being able to perform in one area for a time in order to develop my talents.

"Music will always be an integral part of my life. Seeing the example set in my home, I want to continue the tradition of having classical music at the fingertips of my family. Playing the piano has become a sublimely artistic outlet for my creative thoughts. In performing any composition, I love how the performer needs to place herself between the composer and the audience. She is charged with being true to the composition yet interpretive in its rendition. I eagerly look forward to continuing my studies of performance, music theory, history and composition in greater depth at the college level."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks sixth out of 435; overall GPA is 3.9; 33 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND PROJECTS: National Honor Society; performed at Carnegie Hall; first prize winner of the International Bartok-Kabalevsky-Prokofiev Piano Competition; two-time first place state winner of Utah Music Teachers Association Piano Concerto Competition; performed in recital at Madi Hall in Cairo, Egypt; member of West High School Chorale and A Cappella; National Honor Roll; student body president; homecoming queen; junior class president; Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Award; Girls State; Chemistry Club vice-president; Kiwanis Youth Leadership Award; member of the Utah Symphony Youth Guild; math and reading tutor for at risk children; volunteer at The Christmas Box House; raised money for Children's Miracle Network; collected money for UNICEF; volunteer at the Utah Food Bank.

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Hyung Lee

Timpview High School

Parents: Sang Chul and Yun Kyung Lee


"The first newspaper issue of my senior year was a terror. I was no longer a lowly staff writer, given everything from story ideas to word counts on a silver platter. I was editor-in-chief. However, as I looked over the new staff on the first day of class, my fear of failure squelched the grandiose title like a bug.

"As a staff writer during my junior year, I had the help of numerous editors who held my hand along the way toward journalistic success. I was a child, crawling toward the deadline while picking up knowledge of slugs, beats, and leads along the way.

"But the editors left for college and I was left with only a fool's knowledge of how to print a full issue. I barely understood the workings of InDesign, and I felt overwhelmed at times by dozens of staff writers asking me simultaneously about their word counts and leads. Everything I had previous ignored — pictures, headlines, captions, layouts, etc. — flooded me as the first deadline loomed ever so near.

"However, as my hours in the journalism lab grew longer, my self-doubt began to fade away. The paper was now mine to shape into a fantastic publication or a ridiculous mess. My first issue had many successes and failures. I now realize that I would never have come so far as a designer of an entire issue without taking risks. Many of those risks have resulted in nondescript pictures and nonsensical headlines. But some have resulted in fresh front-page designs and cutouts worthy of the New York Times. It still pains me to hear other students criticize the paper but knowing that I am fully responsible for a 16-page monthly publication is no longer a burden."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks first out of 422; overall GPA is 4.0; 36 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND PROJECTS: AP Scholar of Distinction Award; perfect scores on the SAT subject tests; one of 595 students nationwide recognized with the Achievement Award in Writing by the National Council of Teachers of English; first place in 2006 for the Hugh O'Brien and Utah Kiwanis Club essay contests; academic letters in science, social studies, music, English and mathematics; 2007-08 All State Orchestra; Utah Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra; Eagle rank; volunteers in the circulation department of the public library in Provo; Provo City Youth Government; participated in the Joseph Smith bicentennial; member of the Timpview High School Orchestra.

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Alice Carter

Skyline High School

Parents: Joe and Jane Carter

Salt Lake City

"As long as I can remember, I have tried to organize the world into patterns. I love creating and then executing them. This quirky obsession makes me play every key on the piano in a certain order before I can begin to practice or count steps from the parking lot to my classes. I could probably tell you how many steps you have to take between every classroom at Skyline High. This innate need to patterns can entertain me for hours. Whether it is stacking coins like the Eiffel Tower, drawing thousands of tiny spirals on my history assignment or counting the vowels in my English essay, it always takes priority over my homework. My obsession isn't restricted to one or two areas; rather anything that can be ordered or quantified becomes my medium. Because of this my universe is limitless — patterns can be found in everything. This is my window into any subject matter I might undertake.

"While I have loved every math class I have taken, calculus has been the most gratifying. It was the first math class that really brought everything together — all the stuff I had learned back from algebra and geometry was finally paying off. Being able to understand the theory and the process rather than just memorizing the concepts has always been very rewarding for me.

"Mathematics will open a multitude of doors for me in my future; its applications are endless."

Whether I am a hydrologist designing a system to provide clean water to a small village in Africa or a mechanical engineer perfect a car that runs off a clean energy, I hope that I can use my skill to make a positive impact on the world."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks first out of 480; overall GPA is 4.0; 34 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND PROJECTS: National Honor Society treasurer; Operation Smile Serve chairperson; Choice Humanitarian trip to Kenya; Spanish Club vice president; Skyline Environmental Team; track and cross country teams; Siemens Award for AP Math and Science — first in state; American Regions Mathematics League Competition; Skyline Math Team; math tutoring and coaching; National Merit Semifinalist; AP Scholar with Distinction; Debate Academic Letter Award; Presidents Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence; Wasatch Peer Leadership Team and volunteer for Utah Food Bank.

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Chelsea Irving

Bingham High School

Parents: Rick and Colette Irving

South Jordan

"My Advanced Placement course in U.S. history was very interesting to me because I realized that history affects us today, whether it be the price of oil, environmental protection or just pride in our nation. Also that everyone's opinion matters. Whether I agree or not, I need to respect and regard those who have different opinions than I have. I learned that I can overcome obstacles and achieve greatness in things that I thought were too difficult to do. I learned that in order to be a good leader, I need to work constructively and positively with others and not be demoralizing or inconsiderate of their needs. Good leaders accept the responsibilities that they have been given and take them to a new level. They always strive to teach others through their own example. Human relations and interactions with others are also very important. In order to have good and lasting associations, one needs to be respectful and inviting. Peaceful times in the history of the world only came about when people of different nations treated everyone with respect and kindness. If we could live by that principle today, many of the nations' problems would be solved.

"Social studies has and will enrich my life in many ways. I will definitely be more politically active and aware. I have learned to love politics and the processes involved in them."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks first out of 770; overall GPA is 4.0; 33 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND PROJECTS: National Honor Society; 4.0 Student of the Year; English Student of the Year; Academic Letter; Outstanding Academic Performance Certificate for standardized test scores; International Children's Choir; Utah Ambassador of Music; Track team.

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Charlene Felton

Hillcrest High School

Parents: Steve C. and Martha Castilla-Felton


"Like all little children, my favorite word was 'why?' Unlike most children, however, I was never satisfied with the answers I was given. My curiosity always made me wonder what would happen if I mixed one thing with another. Persistence and determination have served me well in pursuing my interests. I dislike deadlines, not because of an inability to meet them, but because, in my opinion, the research is never complete. I answer my original question only to discover two or three others somewhere in the course of the experiment, which I want to explore. As with all science, unexpected things happen when I do research. It takes determination to be willing to go back to the drawing board with an experiment for the 'nth' time.

"I can think of no activity that will have a more powerful, direct effect on our lives in the future than scientific research. Research being done today is causing political policies to change to accommodate it. Social norms are transformed with each new discovery. I hope to be involved in future research that will have just as dramatic impact. I love to be able to say I contributed in some meaningful way to something larger than myself."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 25 out of 478; overall GPA is 3.9; 34 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND PROJECTS: Honor Roll; Academic Letter Award; IB Program; AP Scholar with Distinction; National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalist; National Hispanic Scholar; Model United Nations; President's Award for Educational Excellence; Certificate of Outstanding Performance on the Iowa Tests; Science Olympiad; Oceanography Summer Camp; Key Club; Ballroom Dance Club; peer tutoring; Youth Leadership Award; LifeStart Village; MESA.

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Duyun Chen

Logan High School

Parents: Huifang Dou and Yangquan Chen


"I am by no means perfect, or even close. However, I possess qualities that pertain to my own interests and ideas. Problem solving is one of my greatest strengths and the most auspicious facet of my character. No matter how complex the problem is, I can always figure out a way to solve it or at least find an alternative to the solution. I am extremely inclined to challenges or difficulties that put my abilities and potential to the test in hopes that I will learn and expand my knowledge. For a successful prospective student and entrepreneur in the field of technology, these traits are highly desirable.

"Ever since childhood, I was surrounded by computational electronics since my parents were both devout engineers. Great thinkers of the past like John Locke believed that environment is key to the development of the individual and my life is a great example. I gradually developed interest in computer technology as the electronic industry soared, all under the influence of my parents' passions for their careers.

"I plan on attending a technologically oriented university where I can focus my interests and expand my knowledge base and pursue a career in the technology industry."

Being involved with the Sterling Scholar program has enabled me to learn more about the abilities and goals of others from whom I can acquire knowledge about myself in context of the real world, where the real journey lies."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks first out of 361; overall GPA is 4.0; 35 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND PROJECTS: National AP Scholar; valedictorian; Nation Merit Semifinalist; National Honor Society; All-State Orchestra; AIME; fifth place Utah Mathematics Competition; Utah Academic Olympiad Individual Gold Medal in Mathematics and Individual Silver Medal in Science; Math Club president; calculus, biology and physics tutor; Computer Club lecturer on usage of the DVS repository for the LHS Greenhouse Web site; Utah State University volunteer Web site designer for Center of Integrated Biosystems; Utah State University independent researcher on Invisible Digital Watermarking; LHS concertmaster; LHS Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Emmanouel Liodakis

Hillcrest High School

Parents: George and Helen Liodakis


"My first trip outside of the United States took place when I was 7 years old. Even though I was young, my trip to Eastern Europe changed the way I viewed other cultures. My seven years of existence did not even hint at the vast cultural differences that existed in the world. The plane landed in Athens, Greece. I was not fluent in Greek and thus did not understand what was being said. My desire to understand how this different culture operated influenced my choosing Greek as my first foreign language.

"As I learn about the similarities between languages, I have begun developing my own interpretations behind the basis of language. I believe that language involves more than simply being fluent. In the last three years, I have begun creating a computer program that is able to analyze the patterns within languages that has the capability to effectively translate between languages. Today, translations are limited in scope and size; concepts are rarely translated. I have been working with a program that has the potential to become an effective translator. My studies of modern Greek and English have been the basis of the programming, yet not limited to those languages.

"My experiences in different countries have expanded my view on the world. When I look at an international event on the news, I view it in multiple perspectives. The importance of the Foreign Language category is evident to me because international understanding is critical to global collaboration. My studies of foreign language have greatly influenced this understanding. It is because of my love for this diversity that I hope to continue my linguistic studies. The more I learn about different cultures, the more I respect the great weave of diversity that describes internationalism"

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks first out of 501; overall GPA 4.0; 33 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND PROJECTS: Honor Roll; Academic Letter; International Baccalaureate; National Honor Society; National Society of High School Scholars; Key Club; President's Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence; Midvale City Youth Ambassador; Model United Nations; vice president of FBLA; president of debate team; DECA; Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF; Project Linus; Holladay Youth Council; food drive; Keys to Success; Midvale Youth Peer Court; Citizenship Award; school orchestra; Greek folk dance instructor.

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Brittney Selman

Bear River High School

Parents: Chris and Loraine Selman


"When I was 8 years old I watched my older brother stand on the stage at the state Future Farmers of America convention and receive an award. I watched in awe and admiration. Dreams started to formulate in my heart that day. I knew I wanted to be just like him. I wanted to take my love of agriculture and do something with it. I have since watched three more siblings go through the FFA and do many wonderful things. As the youngest of five, my older siblings have been my greatest examples. They taught me to be ambitious and that with hard work I can accomplish anything that I want to. I followed in their footsteps and they helped strengthen me so that I can now stand on my own two feet.

"The FFA motto states, 'FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.' My experience in the FFA have been exemplary of the motto. I have learned to be a leader these past few years in the FFA. It has not only helped me in school but also in my job. Because of the excellent leadership skills I was able to become the manager at work.

"I know that my involvement in the FFA and agriculture in general has, and will continue to enrich my life. My involvement in this area has helped me become the person I am today.

"By learning how to work hard at my job and with my sheep, I learned how strong I am. I felt so accomplished earning my own money and learning skills that will help me the rest of my life. The FFA also taught me to be a leader and I learned that I love serving people and speaking in front of them."

"One of the greatest ways the FFA has enriched my life is it has helped me decide what career I want to pursue. I have decided to major in agricultural communication and journalism with an emphasis in public relations. I want to become a motivational speaker and share with the youth of our nation the traits that agriculture and the FFA have taught me."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks first out of 299; overall GPA is 4.0; 24 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND PROJECTS: President Bear River FFA chapter; Key Club member; TOUGH Club member; junior prom committee chairwoman; food pantry; Little Hands on the Farm project; National FFA Floriculture — Entrepreneurship/Placement Proficiency Award Program; started the Lucky Buck Breeding business; helps widowed neighbor with flock of 21 ewes; winner of the Utah FFA Association Prepared Public Speaking Career Development Event; teaches third-graders about sheep and where wool comes from.

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Allissa Jamie Huffaker

Springville High School

Parents: Mike and Shana Huffaker


"Family is an important part of my life. Without my family, I wouldn't have support with my extracurricular activities. I have been taught how to enrich the home and make it a place of refuge. Family and consumer sciences will help me to prepare for my own family in the future. Not only will I learn more about nutrition, food preparation, clothing construction and child care, but I will be able to help my future family be successful. It is important for me to learn the essentials of being a homemaker in order to help my family become self-reliant. 'A good home must be made, not bought' (Joyce Maynard). It is in the home where learning begins. I feel that learning family and consumer skills can help me in creating the home I desire.

"As a child I was always interested in what my mom was doing, whether it was preparing food, sewing or making crafts. Her interests have become mine and I am learning more each day from her example. In accounting I learn how to budget. Having a budget is the key to knowing how many groceries you can buy and how much money you have to spend on other family necessities. I can then teach my own children how to correctly budget their money so that when they grow up they will know how to use their money wisely. Family and consumer science education contains many interests of mine including clothing, food and preparation, nutrition, child care and other family essentials. These necessities will help me as I have my own family."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks first out of 496; overall GPA is 4.0; 29 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND PROJECTS: National Honor Society vice president; cross country All-state Academic Award; Buddy Walk; Award of Merit and grand prize in a local Art City Days flower show; youth leader at the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum; second in regional Make it with Wool competition; student of the month; conducted the Harvest Dinner for senior citizens; sports letter in girls track and field and cross country; yearbook staff; tied blankets for humanitarian aid; Key Club.

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Brent J. Anderson

American Fork High School

Parents: Brian and Kathy Anderson

Pleasant Grove

"As chief technical officer at the Christa McAuliffe Space Center in Pleasant Grove, I have been able to reach out to the community through service while refining my own capabilities in leadership and business. The Space Center provides educational and entertaining space flight simulations to elementary school students in Utah Valley. When I accepted the position in 2005, I was given neither instruction nor assistance. Since then. I have created their entire programming department, given hundreds of hours to several projects, created marketing campaigns, taught technology and business to junior high-age students and revolutionized the way the Space Center educates and entertains students from across the country. This experience has been vital in my development as a businessman and as a member of society. Working there has helped me develop people skills, make executive decisions and experience the 'real world' with a safety net. I have had an opportunity to experiment, practice and implement my own ideas in a stable environment."

"I plan to obtain a bachelor's degree in computer engineering from BYU. I will go on to receive a joint MBA/juris doctorate, lending me the business, legal and technical skills to handle my own startup businesses. "My greatest dream in entrepreneurship is to found a nonprofit mentoring organization for teenagers. This organization would partner teen entrepreneurs with volunteer businesspeople, accountants and attorneys, guiding them through the process of starting and running a business."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 43 out of 531; overall GPA is 3.9; 33 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND PROJECTS: Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center chief technical officer; Forkaster publicity editor; consulting services; Student of the Month for Counseling and Business; National Merit Semifinalist; high honor roll; academic letters in German, math, English and Renaissance; Business Law Skill Certificate; IC3 Certification; trumpet section leader; BYU senior projects judicator; BusinessQ Rookie of the Year; journalism publicity editor; German National Honor Society; American Fork City Youth Council; Youth Committee Chairman.

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Jesse Felice Pepe

Brighton High School

Parents: Philip Pepe and Sue Skudlarczyk


"I find joy in living through performing. It is not because of talent or entertainment value that I find this joy, it is through the thought of what phenomenal accomplishments human beings can achieve when they work together as one. We are all diverse and all have immense differences that make us unique. Yet when we work together as one soul, there is no telling what magic and wonders we can create. I know it may seem like a stretch to compare performing on a stage to drastically important events such as the civil rights movement or American's struggle for independence, but in reality they are the same. People overcoming their differences and banding together for a common cause is phenomenally important within this world and my contribution to this wonderful aspect of life is by performing. Whether it is for theater or not, I know that I can make a difference. Together, upon a stage, we as actors are an unstoppable force that can speak the thoughts that sometimes no one would dare say and could kindle a fire within the beholders that would change their lives, and mine, forever.

"Last year, while polishing our competition piece for the regional competition, 'Bang Bang You're Dead,' there was a tragic incident in one of our downtown malls. One of the individuals who lost her life happened to be a good friend within the entire theater program who loved to perform and always had a smile on her face. She was one of those people who made everyone around her happy. We were all devastated. Her untimely death made us work even harder to get our message across within our play, which was ironically about violence and school shootings. I have never felt a group of people pull together and unify so emphatically. Our performances were spectacular. Over and over again we left that stage knowing we had moved our audience; we had changed them. I knew, then and there, that performing is not merely a hobby, but a way of life."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks first out of 620; overall GPA is 4.0; 31 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND PROJECTS: Drama Club president; Great Barrier Reef volunteer head; first place in the Shakespeare Competition: AP Scholar with Honors: Academic Letter Award; International Thespian Society; co-host/co-master of ceremonies Brighton Idol Talent Show; peer tutor; Best Male Vocalist in a Musical; Best Sophomore Performer at BHS; first place in region and state competition for the role of George in 'Of Mice and Men'; regional and state competition for one-act, 'Bang Bang You're Dead'; regional and state competition for the one-act, 'Godspell.'

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Jan Joseph Voitehovich

West High School

Parents: Joseph and Irina Voitehovich

Salt Lake City

"I came to the United States when I was 9. My parents decided to migrate to the United States from Belarus for many reasons, one of which was to provide a better future for me. We were the classic immigrant tale; we left our lives in Belarus and came here only bearing a suitcase. Since then we've managed to settle quite well. My family and I all learned English here. It was tough for a few years going to school and not knowing the language. The challenges for me were learning the language, assimilating and helping my parents during the first few years. Our transition taught me to be tough and dedicated. This I can relate to art easily; art's not an easy thing. In order to get one perfect print, it may take 10 that aren't perfect, and it's important to stay dedicated to this work that you hate to love.

"I am a blue belt in Okinawan Karate. This is the physical outlet that I have for my energy, love and frustration.I have been practicing it for six years now and it has been tough all the while. Through arduous workouts, fighting, scraping and bruising, I have learned about the karmic effects of hard work; it seems to pay off. In this way I can relate fighting to art. There have been a lot of times when art has been a struggle for me. It has been a battle to fight the creative cramps and personal eccentricities. Art is also a temple, my type of meditation, comfort really. It makes my life sweeter and sometimes keeps me up at night. You can't really win if you don't fight for it."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 17 out of 449; overall GPA is 3.9; 29 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND PROJECTS: AP Scholar Award; National Honor Society; National Arts Honor Society; Key Club; Bend-in-the-River Urban TreeHouse & Green Space planting trees and cleaning up local parks; first place Printmaking Award Salt Lake District; Gallery Choice Award at the pARTnership Gallery; intern at Spy Hop Productions; peer mentor at Spy Hop Productions; IB program.

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Jenessa Frampton

Lone Peak High School

Parents: Paul and Jennifer Frampton


"Three characteristics that I am proud to have are determination, confidence and being a good friend. I had to learn to have confidence. I love people and I am willing to give of myself for a friend in need. This attribute greatly influences who I am and what I do. When I am in dance class I feel that I can create a positive environment by loving others. The ability to do this is the ability to be closer to my fellow dancers, my younger students and my teachers. This enhances our performance as a whole. This is one of the attributes I cherish most about my personality because I believe one of the greatest tools you can use in life is love. I love dance and I love my friends.

"There is so much I feel that I cannot express through words but am able to communicate through my emotions in dance. It is my decision to learn from every experience I have in life. I have learned and will continue learning through my dance experiences to better express myself as an individual and a dancer. Dance has made me a better person. Through dance I realized that I am a dedicated person. I have learned that it is better to self assess than to judge and compare. I have recognized the power of unity. Most importantly I have a passion for this art form because it helps me to express myself through movement. Dance teaches me who I am."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 52 out of 675; overall GPA is 3.9; 25 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND PROJECTS: Monthly visits to elderly; preparing and delivering meals to cancer victims; delivered presents to Alzheimer's Hospital Unit; organized game night with mentally challenged; Tijuana humanitarian trip; helped clean and serve food at Food Care Coalition Center; cleaned neighborhood family house for renting; assisting patients at the Developmental Center to attend church meetings; member of Ririe-Woodbury's High School Company; Humanitarian trip to Mexico to build houses; choreographed for all fifth-graders in the Highland Elementary Dance Festival; Spirit of Jr. Miss Award.