Extraordinary Teen Awards 2019
Prepare to be humbled. From a tech entrepreneur with patents pending to a 'Voice' contestant, these local students are on a path to greatness.
McLean High School
By the time she finished high school, Sarah Rice already had a pretty impressive résumé: class president; junior class council; student government council; mentor for freshmen; swim, field hockey and lacrosse coach. In the summer of 2018 she served as a delegate at American Legion Auxiliary Virginia Girls State, a program that aims to prepare young women for a life of leadership and good citizenship.
So it’s not much of a leap to wonder if the 18-year-old might someday run for office. “Honestly? Yeah. It’s definitely an option,” says the well-traveled teen, who was born in Brussels. “I really enjoy being in a position where I can make a change and put my voice forward.”
That’s not the only thing Rice did last summer. As further proof of her strength and resolve, she participated in a 15-day backpacking trip in Alaska, cleaning up an abandoned orphanage and spending three days alone in the wilderness with nothing but a sleeping bag.
At McLean High School, Rice helped raise more than $67,000 over two years (through the school’s annual McDance-a-thon) to support children with cancer. She has been active with Best Buddies, an organization that provides peer support to kids with special needs, since eighth grade. “The relationships I’ve developed have been so deep,” she says of Best Buddies. “Walking in the hallways, I’m just minding my own business, and I just get a big hug. It’s a community I’m very happy to be involved with.”
Rice won’t be going straight to college this fall. She was chosen, along with 24 other graduating seniors, as a scholarship recipient for the Congress-Bundestag Vocational Youth Exchange (CBYX), a one-year exchange-student program for the U.S. government in Germany intended to improve relations between the two countries. She has deferred college a year to focus on diplomacy and will begin her freshman year at William & Mary in the fall of 2020. –Rina Rapuano