Mahtomedi High School
What has been the high point of your academic career so far?
This year, I joined the science team at my school. We had the opportunity to attend the 2019 Experimental Biology conference. It was really exciting for me to see how academic research could be applied to the real world. A team of two other high school girls and I researched a protein called aquaporin in relation to causes of glaucoma and possible treatments for glaucoma.
What have been some of the challenges or difficulties in your school career so far?
Figuring out what I was really passionate about.
What advice do you wish someone had given you that you’d give to someone starting high school?
Embrace the chaos. When I was an underclassman, I wasn’t involved, and I didn’t want to be involved. I didn’t enjoy my first year in high school, but then I started attending football games and pep rallies and I joined the math team and the science team. I actually started to enjoy going to school, which for me was a big deal. I knew I liked to be there to learn, but now I also like to be there for the people and the culture, and that’s something I wish I would have had earlier.
What are your thoughts for after graduation?
I’m going to attend a four-year university. I don’t know where. I’m interested in academic research. I think I want to travel outside the state, and the school needs to have a good science program. Beyond that, I haven’t narrowed it down.
What is your special power?
Probably my smile. When I smile, I relax myself instantly. I’ve had some problems with anxiety in the past, so I know if I can remember to smile, I can face pretty much any challenge that comes my way. It helped me get over my fear of public speaking, which is a big deal.
Who has influenced you to excel and why?
My dad, Gregory Ales. I can credit a lot of my work ethic and my curiosity for learning to him. Those qualities have helped me a lot to get to where I am. Also my teachers. They do a lot to challenge all the students and I’m grateful for that.