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Student of the Week

Posted: February 7, 2022

Student of the Week Ben Willhite

Senior at La Cueva High School

Nusenda Credit Union, in partnership with the APS Education Foundation, highlights an APS student each week.

What Ben likes about school: I love being able to explore my different interests with my peers. I enjoy jumping from classes like biology to art to Spanish all in the same day. I think it helps me learn how to adapt to new settings. Spending a day at work can feel monotonous, but at school, you never know what you might do over the course of a week. You can start the week with a DNA replication lab and end with a debate on bull-fighting and fit just about anything in between. School keeps me engaged and helps me explore a wide range of subjects.

Favorite subject: My favorite subject is math. This year in Calculus 3, I was challenged to see problems from new angles. When most people think about math problems, they probably think about a problem with a specific set of steps to find the solution. But I like to imagine several different ways to find a solution and then choose the most efficient route. Math is not only about memorizing rules and theorems. It's about using the most effective tools to complete the task in front of you.

Hobbies and activities: At school, I'm involved in several activities and interest groups like Speech and Debate, where I compete by giving speeches on some of my research projects. I'm also an ally of my school's Asian American Student Association and Black Student Union, where I attend meetings to listen and weigh in on different social and political issues. As the President of the National Honors Society, I lead my peers in monthly outreach projects to make an impact on our community. I'm also an advisor to the Superintendent, where we meet on a monthly basis to discuss different subjects such as school safety, the district budget, or policymaking.

Plans for the future: In the future, I'm planning on studying Mechanical Engineering at a four-year university. I like to understand how machines work, and I want to spend my future working to solve problems that affect us all, like the energy crisis. Creating more efficient machines will reduce the amount of energy all of us use every day.

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