Rachel has lived in a variety of places including Russia, Boston, MA, Louisville, KY, Siem Reap, Cambodia, and now Kratie Cambodia. Though Kratie is much quieter in comparison to what Rachel was used to, she adjusted by immersing herself into the community as best as she could. During her high school years, Rachel participated in many all-nighters, coffee shop study sessions, river walks, spontaneous trips to the mountains, and quality times spent with friends. You could often find her in her room reading a book, listening to podcasts, and debating her family members, activities that sparkdd her interest in literature, philosophy, and science. Rachel had to be creative when it came to extracurriculars, forcing herself to think outside the box. She has been able to participate in and conduct malaria research in eastern Cambodia, shadow doctors, become the volunteer coordinator for Chenla Children’s Healthcare, act as a translator during outreach clinics and programs, and participate in writing child protection policy. Needless to say, Rachel’s extracurriculars have helped her experience individual growth, opening her eyes to the realities of the world.
Rachel has participated in TPS’ honors diploma and taken a full course load each year. Within Rachel’s TPS classes, she has most thoroughly enjoyed AP Psychology with Dr. Rathemell, as he not only gives some of the most interesting lectures, but also invests in Rachel personally. Rachel enjoys applying her psychology to her English classes with her favorite English teacher Mrs. Thomas. This year, Children’s Literature Analysis has become her favorite English class even after two previous classes with Mrs. Thomas. Though one may expect children’s literature to be easy, as the book list consists of children’s books, do not be fooled. Mrs. Thomas challenges ideas, asks deep questions about the nature of life, and grades hard. Honorable mentions of crucial classes that have impacted Rachel’s academics are Mr. Mailand’s AP World History, always full of laugher and interesting debates, AP Biology taught by Mrs. Carrier, which has fueled Rachel’s interest in neuroscience, and Spanish with Señora Kelley, as she creates a challenging yet encouraging environment for her classes.
Even more crucial than classes, extracurriculars, and Rachel’s free time activities, Rachel’s support system has been a vital element of her high school career. First and foremost, Rachel’s mother Lori not only helped Rachel pass her honors chemistry class, but she also has cheered Rachel on in her insistence to visit too many colleges, apply to too many colleges, and watch hours of Gilmore Girls with lovely cheese boards. Though Rachel’s friends are dispersed around the world in Asia, the United States, Africa, Rachel maintains deep relationships with all of them. Emma Warrington deals with Rachel’s rants regarding anything and everything and has helped her in classes such as Advanced Comp and AP Biology. Most importantly, however, Emma and Rachel have sung karaoke for hours on end, relieving all stress. Maggie, the author, therapist, and career woman, spends hours upon hours studying with Rachel via FaceTime. She also encourages Rachel through life and was even kind enough to write Rachel’s peer recommendation, putting her literary skills to work. Joomee, Rachel’s fellow Asian best friend, has had countless sleepovers, participated in much needed retail therapy, and explores all different kinds of restaurants and coffee shops. Beyond the lighthearted element in each of the relationships described above, Rachel has developed deep relationships with each and every person. They have provided her with a sound support system and a source of intentional encouragement.
Next year, Rachel plans to attend Furman University, participating in their Community of Scholars. Though she is deeply fascinated with the sciences, Rachel also is passionate about bridging the gap between science and religion, as psychologist Jean Piaget and children’s author Madeline L’engle have done. Thus, she hopes to double major in neuroscience and religious studies on the pre-med track, studying the relationship between the two vital truths of the world. Though the academic aspect of Rachel’s college experience is important, she also seeks growth as an individual, realizing her personal insufficiencies and need for character growth (as we all are imperfect). Overall, Rachel plans to utilize her education for serving those around her, wherever she ends up in the world, hoping to emulate the Gospel in her own life.