Prep Elite: Chanhassen High School's Grace Lynch is Off to College, Then the Peace Corps

Chanhassen High School senior Grace Lynch, a member of the 2019 Prep Elite
Chanhassen High School senior Grace Lynch wants to spend a year volunteering overseas after college.

There’s a lot to be proud of in this community, but, we must admit, our pride shoots straight to the top when it comes to learning about how so many local high schoolers are achieving their goals and dreams while preparing for their future.

Each year, area high schools nominate students to be featured in our annual Prep Elite feature. This year, we asked schools, “Who are the givers? Who are the students, who will graduate from your academic community having left a positive impact?”

We chose four of those nominated students to appear in this issue. Was there a variety of students put forward? Yes. Was it difficult to narrow down the list to just four? Absolutely.

Congratulations to this year’s Prep Elite students: Kalie Dahl, Julia McIntosh, Ben Sather 

Grace Lynch
Chanhassen High School

SWM: Looking back, what do you wish you could have told your freshman self?
GL: … before school started my freshman year, I had been offered a role in a performance for a local theater company. I turned down the role out of fear that I wouldn’t have the time to commit and wanting to make sure my priorities were in line. Looking back, I wish I had recognized the value in pursuing my interests, as well as my academics. The academic parts of school can really only get me so far, and I wish I had come to that realization earlier.

SWM: What is the most important way in which you gave back to your high school or community?
GL: … [It’s] always being available for anyone who needs help. I’ve helped coach people in my activities and tutored both officially and unofficially all through high school. In my classes, I’m always willing to give feedback, review notes or help people study. Most importantly, I listen and provide support whenever I know others are struggling ... I’ve found the impact I can have on people extremely rewarding and have seen the community around me grow stronger because of it.

SWM: What did you learn from that experience?
GL: When I’m open to other people’s experiences without predispositions, I learn a lot more about their lives and the challenges they face ... It’s been incredibly important to me on a personal level to have the ability to make people feel recognized and appreciated ...

SWM: What are your post high school plans?
GL: … I want to study cellular biology and genetics … After college, I’m planning to join the Peace Corps and spend a year volunteering overseas and getting hands-on experience with medicine.

SWM: Give us three words to describe yourself.
GL: Dedicated, supportive and creative.

4.0 GPA; National Honor Society

Debate; Girl Up (co-launched the group); Model UN; Student Ambassador; Health Occupation Students of America; Superintendent Advisory; and PRIDE Committee

Girl UP, organized monthly volunteer/awareness activities

“Grace Lynch is simply a notch above the rest ...  dedicated, hard-working and motivated beyond measure. Grace takes initiative to plan and execute projects that benefits others ...  Grace has the unique ability to generate her new and unique ideas while honoring the work of others ...” —Erin Indrelie Swoboda, assistant principal