Formative years are usually spent trying to blend in with peers, as teenagers often go to extreme lengths to focus on themselves and personal development. Girls Preparatory School valedictorian Margaret Lim took a different approach.
The recent graduate was on the school's honor council, served on the yearbook staff and spent summers and weekends teaching younger students. The Ringgold, Georgia, resident joined a club with a small group tasked with teaching late-elementary and middle school students about STEM subjects and coding. They would hold summer camps and teach students on weekends during their four years in high school. Lim isn't sure how the experience will help her in the future, but that doesn't seem to matter to her.
"I feel like it's a really influential way to pass on knowledge," Lim said. "You never know when you're teaching a younger kid if they'll want to become a coder or engineer because of that experience."
The club allowed the students to have fun with their learning experiences. Lim remembers a group of students who programmed a robot to dance to Taylor Swift music and another who used 3-D printing to make copies of their pet.
The National Merit Scholarship finalist was awarded the Grace McCallie Scholarship, awarded to the rising senior with the highest GPA in high school. Some of her favorite high school memories include her senior class trip to Disney World, and an assignment that involved studying angular momentum by using bicycle wheels and spinning around in chairs. But mainly, she said, her most reassured memories involve the little things she got to do with her friends.
"Margaret is quiet, thoughtful, and kind," GPS history and latin teacher Ralph Covino said. "She is both driven and humble. Most of all, though, we all know Margaret as a talented musician, a dutiful servant- leader, and a serious scholar."
Lim has spent considerable time practicing to become what Covino called a "talented musician." She has played the piano since she was 5 years old and violin since she was 8. Some of her favorite activities have involved playing music with her mother. The two often play for her grandmother, coordinating on her favorite tunes that include Disney songs and the soundtrack to "The Sound of Music."
Lim plans to attend Duke University in the fall to study neuroscience. She toured the campus twice and "liked it a lot," she said. The school has a renowned science department she feels is the best fit for her educational future.
Music looks to be a part of Lim's future. She was a member of the GPS Tango string quartet and played in the school's orchestra. She plans to continue playing and hopes to join the Duke Symphony Orchestra.