The Harvard Club of the Research Triangle awarded the Harvard Prize Book Award to 15 outstanding high school juniors during the month of May. Our recipients spanned our region from the Triangle to the coast. With the help of the Award Sponsors and the Schools committee, we were able to personally award the book to 5 recipients at their school’s award ceremony.
Samuel Li, Chapel Hill High School
Samuel has excelled at Chapel Hill High, where he has proven to be a well-rounded, model student. He has won a gold medal in the National Spanish Exam for four years in a row, and was admitted into NCSSM's competitive Summer Ventures research program. Demonstrating a broad range of interests, Samuel is vice president of his school's Science Olympiad team as well as of the Asian Student Association, and has participated on the Debate Team, in Model UN, and plays with the Ultimate Frisbee Club. Outside of school, Samuel is a Volunteer Counselor at The ArtsCenter of Carrboro, a Counselor-in-Training (CIT) at a camp in the Great Smoky Mountains, and a Volunteer Group Leader for his church. Artistic as well as academic, Samuel enjoys mural painting--he painted 4 large-scale murals for a local middle school--and playing guitar.
Jack Swansey, Durham School of the Arts
Jack Swansey has been at DSA since sixth grade. His pathway is theater and he has had roles in DSA productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and You Can't Take it With You, as well as Guildenstern in the Eno River Players Theater production of Hamlet. He is a member of the swim team, the French Honor Society and the History Bee team. As longtime member of the Science Olympiad team, in state competition he has won fifth, seventh and tenth place medals. He's a previous winner of DSA’s AP US History prize and will attend NC Gov School this year in social sciences. He studied Shakespeare, filmmaking, and philosophy over four summers at Duke Tip. Jack recently received a commendation from U.S. Representative GK Butterfield for his activism as a longtime member of KidsVotingDurham and the Rising Star award from the Southern Documentary Film Fund in The Hunt 2015 competition.
Jack is generally quiet at school but known for his wit and creativity. He and his friend Eugene spearheaded Mr. Ward’s AP European History class’s Twitter reenactment of the French Revolution over Christmas break. In his spare time he invents elaborate board games with his brother, Ned. They have made a NASCAR game and currently are working on a strategy game involving a fictional Eastern European landscape, both of which they hope to market. They also are busy writing the sequel to his animated film, Franchise: The Origin Story, a superhero parody which can be found on YouTube. Jack is usually spotted with a book in one hand and a hot wheels car in the other.
Duncan Englehardt, East Carteret High School
Duncan is an outstanding student, superb athlete, and very civic minded. He is a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church where he serves as an acolyte, has been on several mission trips to Washington, DC to work with the homeless, and has helped with Bible school in the summer.
He is a member of the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum where he has participated in events such as the Shrimp Off cooking competition. He has job shadowed with Dr. Linda Swain and Dr. Bedford Smith in order to learn more about the dental profession.
At East Carteret, he has been a class officer for the past three years, a member of FCA, a part of the young men's Bible study, and a member of the Beta club. He attended the Beaufort Ole Towne Rotary Youth Leadership Academy at Trinity Center, completed Carteret Sports Leadership, and is Serve Safe Certified. He has recently been appointed as a Marshal for this year's graduating class.
He has played Varsity football and Varsity baseball for the past three years. He was one of the team captains on the football team and has been named All-conference in both sports.
This summer he will be attending Tar Heel Boys' State at Catawba College.
These are just a few of his many outstanding accomplishments.
Keely Parrish, East Chapel Hill High School
Name Not Released, Heritage High School
Giovanni Budi, Isaac Bear Early College High School
Giovanni is a stellar student at Isaac Bear. In his junior year, he served as treasurer of the National Honors Society. Among Giovanni's many accomplishments, he has been President of the Math Club, he's tutored multiple students in math, and has taken several math classes at UNC-Wilmington as a high school student. He won the local and state Trig-Star Competition, and over the summer will take the National Trig-Star Exam. Last year, Giovanni served as Vice-President of Science Olympiad, and ranked number ten in the state of NC for the Astronomy event. In addition, Giovanni found time to serve as a mentor to one of our 10th grade students. Giovanni has distinguished himself inside and outside of the classroom. He has positively impacted the culture of our school. As a leader, he serves as an inspiration to our students providing a template for them to follow.
Name Not Released, J H Rose High School
Adam Glen Abram, Jordan High School
Pamela Lopez Ulloa, Jordan-Matthews High School
Pamela is an honors student, and is bilingual in Spanish and English. She has excelled in the Advancement via Individual Determination program (“AVID”) at Jordan-Matthews, winning the AVID award her sophomore year. Pamela is very involved, both at school and in her community. At Jordan-Matthews, she is a member of the Stars Club, the Beta Club, the Leo Club, and the Links crew. In the broader community, she volunteers for the PTA Thrift Shop and for a local food panty, and provides tutoring for elementary school students. Passionate about music, Pamela is also a song-leader at her church.
Name Not Released, Lejeune High School
Kayla Freeland, New Bern High School
Kayla excels academically and is a leader at New Bern High School. She plans to attend UNC Wilmington to study marine biology and criminology.
Jenna Israel, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
I am a rising senior at NCSSM and I am excited to spend my summer at the Division of Fossil Primates at Duke University through the school's summer research program. I will continue research during my senior year. Next year I will be a RLA, similar to an RA, on my residential hall at school. I will also be a co-captain of NCSSM quiz bowl next year. I really enjoy volunteering, both at NCSSM and at home. Last summer I volunteered at my local library and this year I volunteered with the school food drive, a literacy workshop, and a school supply drive, among other things. I am very interested in honey bees and participated in the beekeeping seminar and helped move the school's colony into the observation hive. I also enjoying playing frisbee with the school ultimate frisbee club in my free time.
Sarah Helen Shepherd, Northwood High School
Sarah Helen Shepherd is a student athlete who works as diligently in the pool as she does in the classroom. She began swimming when she was four years old and has earned many awards and medals in her sport. She is being recruited by both universities and military academies and hopes to swim throughout her college career. Academically, she is passionate about Chemistry. As a freshman studying Honors Chemistry, she was enthralled by the interplay of atoms, the formulas, and the qualities and effects of the properties of chemicals. She continued her study of Chemistry this year taking a yearlong AP course. Sarah Helen plans to major in Chemistry as an undergraduate and continue to medical school.
Erin Binkley, Rocky Mount High School
In addition to being an academic standout, Erin Binkley has played travel soccer from a young age and varsity soccer throughout high school. In her free time, she enjoys learning American Sign Language and tutoring students at the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf. Erin also volunteers at La Estrella Resplandeciente, a ministry established to tutor Latino children in English, where she and the other volunteers also play games with the children and provide them with a meal as something they hope the children can look forward to and enjoy. This summer she will attend Tarheel Girls State as well as working as a camp counselor at KidSpace summer camp at her church.
Lauren Howell, Wakefield High School
Sarah Helen Shepherd
Pamela Lopez Ulloa