Student Nomination Story

When I signed up to take Chemistry in 9th grade, I thought it would be the most difficult class I had ever taken. It was incredibly daunting walking into a classroom with a limited knowledge of equations and reactions - at that point, I only had a basic knowledge of biology. I never could have known that the minute I entered that spacious classroom, with smooth linoleum floors, meticulously arranged rows of desks, and a lab with Bunsen burners organized along each counter, that my life would be changed forever. At the start of 9th grade, my life was an unfinished jigsaw puzzle of confusion about what I wanted to be and what subjects I loved the most. When someone would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, I blurted out, "All I know is I like science." Little did I know, with the help of Ms. Anderson, I would finally discover the answer to that question. As the class progressed, new knowledge started to click inside my brain. I remember sometimes staying after class to ask for help with determining molecular geometry or with a stoichiometry problem on an assignment, Ms. Anderson would be there to carefully walk me through it. I was excelling in the class, and she nominated me for a Chemistry Summer Camp at the University of Utah. But being the great procrastinator that I am, I requested my transcript from the school the day it had to be delivered to the University. This was my first time needing a transcript for anything, so I was shocked when I was told it would take at least a week for the transcript to be emailed. I was losing hope and thinking I had lost my only chance to be in the program; but somewhere deep inside me remained a sliver of hope, uncovered by my newfound passion for chemistry. With that sliver of hope in mind, I went to Ms. Anderson and described my predicament, and she took me straight to the office and my transcript was printed immediately for me to take to the U. Without Ms. Anderson, I think I never would have figured out the answer to the single question that I dreaded being asked for most of my life: "What do you want to be when you grow up?" When I grow up, I'm going to major in Chemistry, become an astronaut, and go to Mars. Thank you, Ms. Anderson.

Sevara Frederico

To see more exceptional teacher nominees, visit The Honor Roll.