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.
Eden Prairie High School
SWM: Looking back, what do you wish you could have told your freshman self?
BS:… take advantage of the time you have by getting involved in more groups/activities, and work hard in your classes and sports. This will fuel your overall success.
SWM: What is the most important way in which you gave back to your high school or community?
BS:… [By] volunteering at our local church and food shelves. I was also a coach for a special needs flag football team, sponsored by the Super Bowl Committee, which gave me a great opportunity to provide a fun experience that was new to many. Finally, I have volunteered as a part of the Eden Prairie Football team, which involves service at senior centers and youth football events and leadership to those next up in the program.
SWM: What did you learn from that experience?
BS: Among all the things I learned from these experiences, the two most influential were learning to be selfless, focusing on others rather than myself and learning the impact of my choices …
SWM: What are your post high school plans?
BS: I hope to pursue a business education at the University of Minnesota and enlist in the ROTC program. I have a dream of owning my own business.
SWM: Give us three words to describe yourself.
BS: Disciplined, ambitious and sociable.
Track (ranked fourth in the state as pole vaulter); Football (2017 state champions and 2018 state runners up); DECA; Friends Forever (club dedicated to special needs classmates); and Connect 9
Community outreach in Lima, Peru; Grace Church; Super Fest for the Matthew Foundation; 363 Days; Served food and provided clothing to those in need
“Ben is always willing to think about others in extraordinary ways. In leadership, Ben displays both leading by example along with being the vocal leader in empowering groups to work cohesively. Ben understands that, by providing value to others, the whole group will be stronger. He cares about others as evidenced by his service and always asks, ‘What can I do to help?’” —Andrew Rotschafer, EPHS activities coordinator and football coach