High school seniors are under a lot of pressure. With college applications, scholarships, extracurricular activities and making the most out of every moment, it is impressive that any senior keeps up.
For Severna Park High School senior Allison Chang, being busy has become a part of her routine.
Chang, who plans to study computer science in college, has been involved in many STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs. She holds officer positions in both the science and math honor societies at Severna Park and was recently awarded a National Merit Scholarship.
Chang has also been enrolled in classes at Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) throughout high school.
“The classes are more self-driven, with it being college,” said Chang. “I have to plan out my time more to make sure I get all my work done when there’s not necessarily people always checking up on me.”
In addition to graduating from high school this spring, Chang will graduate with two associate degrees in math and computer science from AACC. She said that these classes will help her transition into a four-year university.
“It's been good for me,” said Chang. “I think it's helped me mature some and it's been a different experience.”
For the past three years, Chang has played an active role in Key Club at Severna Park High School. Each year she leads two service projects - the Harvest for the Hungry food drive and the Prom Fashion Show.
The Harvest for the Hungry food drive is a Department of Education program that partners with local food banks in a regional competition to collect the most food and monetary donations. All the funds raised at Severna Park High School are distributed to the Anne Arundel County Food Bank.
“It definitely makes me feel happy to support families,” she said. “I really like Harvest for the Hungry because all the resources stay local. Everything goes to our local food bank.”
This year, Severna Park High School raised $14,000 and won first place in its region.
“This year we actually came in first for total contribution,” said Chang. “We always come in second after South River High School, so that is really cool.”
The Prom Fashion Show is an annual fundraiser encouraging students to model prom outfits. All proceeds benefit the March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization committed to fighting birth defects. This year, under Chang’s leadership, the event raised $4,000.
“We usually have seniors model the outfits and I'm a senior, so it was sort of my classmate’s year,” said Chang. “It was really cool to see all of my friends dressed up.”
Chang said organizing the Prom Fashion Show is her favorite memory from high school.
“There are always problems that come up,” said Chang. “But when I see the show and everything comes together, that's always a happy night for me.”
Chang kept herself busy throughout her high school career. Her busy schedule taught her the importance of managing her time and being organized, a skill set that she will carry throughout her life. She credits the Severna Park community with inspiring her to continue working hard.
“People in Severna Park are very driven,” said Chang. “I’m taking a lot of AP classes and have a hard workload, but a lot of people around me are doing the same thing. It pushes me.”
Though Chang has been accepted to University of Maryland College Park and Johns Hopkins University for computer science, she has not made any decisions yet.
“Ideally I would like to move farther away for college,” said Chang. “I’m excited to be in a more diverse environment where I can be independent and find myself a little more.”
Though she has enjoyed her time at Severna Park High School, she is ready to move on to the next big thing.
“In high school I spent a lot of time working on these service projects and doing things to help others,” said Chang. “When I'm in college I want to find a way to continue doing that, but also incorporate my major. I want to figure out a way to help others using computer science.”