Resiliency Helps Maple Grove Student Stand Out
At Maple Grove High School, senior Precious Kennedy has an important life skill that will serve her well beyond school: resiliency. Advanced placement biology teacher Todd Martin remembers Kennedy arriving in his class two years ago, several months into the school year, and Kennedy’s third school in less than two years. Nonetheless, she worked hard to learn all she could in the advanced biology class. “I just think it’s important to understand that resiliency is one of those characteristics and qualities that we can’t really measure on paper, and that she [Kennedy] has that in spades. She’s just an excellent, excellent student,” said Martin.
Born and raised in Monrovia, Liberia, Kennedy moved to the United States when she was 13 years old. She joined family in Michigan first, then later moved to be with her dad in Minnesota, where she started at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School. Kennedy says the transition from life in Liberia to the United States was a tough one. “It was hard, huge culture shifts,” said Kennedy. Kennedy made an important decision to dig in and get involved with school clubs from DECA to Model United Nations. She’s now a member of the National Honor Society, choir, and the school’s Link Crew, which helps incoming freshman transition to high school.
Kennedy credits Martin and his biology class from tenth grade with sparking an interest in science. “I found people that I knew could motivate me and help me, and I found things to do that would keep me going,” said Kennedy of her first months at Maple Grove High School. Now in the top 10 percent of her class with a 3.96 grade point average, Kennedy is excelling with a rigorous schedule of college-level courses. “I’ve always been a hard worker, that’s just how I’m wired,” said Kennedy. Kennedy now has her sights set on a biology major in college. She’s considering the University of Minnesota and the University of Michigan.