Elite Top 100


2021’s Elite Top 100 Outstanding Young Citizens!


Shoop, Elizabeth

Riverview Junior/Senior High School, 12

I plan on attending a four-year university where I will learn to take my many interests and passions and turn them into a career. I hope to continue participating in the clubs, activities, and volunteer organizations that I joined years ago, as well as exploring new ones. I’m excited to be immersed into a world of lifelong learning experiences that will allow me to continue growing as a student and a person.

Shyam, Shria

North Allegheny Senior High School, 12
Top Ten

I plan on attending Carnegie Mellon University for environmental engineering to further pursue my passions and ambitions in environmentalism, as I have been an environmentalist for eleven years and a food activist for six years. Having been inspired by Rachel Carson and Fair Food: Growing a Healthy Sustainable Food System For All by Dr. Oran Hesterman, I hope to receive a Ph.D., enter academia or government, and participate in the international battle for systemic agricultural sustainability.

Simmons, Liana

Avonworth High School, 12

My future plan is to attend a four-year university and obtain a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Film and Digital Media Production.

Skindzier, Theresa

Bishop Canevin Catholic High School, 11

I plan to attend a four-year university to study either communications or astronomy. My passions have presented me with multiple opportunities, so I would like to pursue a career that allows me to continue them. I hope to shoot archery at the collegiate level and maybe one day make it onto the USA Team.

Smathers, Olivia

Oakland Catholic High School, 12

I plan to continue my language studies of French, Italian and Japanese while majoring in International Studies/Relations and Mathematics. After attending a 4-year university, I aim to attend law school and become an international human rights or environmental lawyer. Throughout my studies, I will continue to develop my love of music through lyrical and guitar songwriting and music production.

Sneddon, Molly

Thomas Jefferson High School, 11

For my senior year, I plan to continue challenging myself through a rigorous course load, and continue pursuing clubs and activities that interest me. After high school, I intend to attend a four year university to further my education in a business related field.

Snyder, Anne

Oakland Catholic High School, 12

I plan to attend a four-year university, currently undecided, as an Accounting major and subsequently law school with the intention to study corporate law. I will proceed with my involvement in student government and service work in college.

Stickney, Anabel

St. Joseph High School, 11

In hopes of working in a service profession, I plan to attend college in the fall of 2022. In the following months, I will continue to explore healthcare professions including Occupational Therapy, Music Therapy, and Psychology.

Stoughton, Hannah

Apollo-Ridge High School, 12

After realizing my love for teaching, despite a strained relationship with teachers during my childhood, I’ve chosen to pursue an education in English Literature at secondary education levels. I’ve committed to Thiel College in Greenville, PA and I plan to attend their Dietrich Honors Institute. After college, I plan to change the lives of every student I can by working at a high-school.

Sweeney, Finnian

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, 12
Top Ten

After high school, I plan to pursue a dual major in engineering and business at the University of Notre Dame. I plan to work in engineering, and attend graduate school thereafter. Outside of school, though, my goal is to continue to serve my community, my parish and the church, and this nation. As an Eagle Scout, devout Catholic, and citizen, I am committed to a life of service and leadership, and, following my family’s example, will always dedicate a part of my life to the service of others.

Swierczynski, Katlyn

Greensburg Salem High School, 12

After graduating from Greensburg Salem High School I plan to pursue a degree in Industrial Engineering. Although I am not decided on a university yet, I plan to continue my interest in French by receiving a minor in French while also studying abroad. Since I was young I have been inspired by my mother and her love of giving back to her community, so I hope to follow in her footsteps and expand the reaches of my service by gaining experience and skills at school to help those in my community.

Telang, Shomik

North Allegheny Senior High School, 11
Top Ten

After I graduate high school, I plan to pursue a degree in Computer Science. I am especially interested in artificial intelligence and machine learning. I also plan to continue giving back to my community, and I will continue to participate in the volunteer programs and activities I am doing currently. Furthermore, I have a passion for finding innovative solutions to real world problems in my community, and I hope to develop more projects even after high school.

Thomson, Sarah

Greater Latrobe Senior High School, 12

I plan to major in chemical engineering with an environmental focus and get involved with as many research projects as I can in college. I aim to work in the environmental sector to create chemical solutions for pollutants. For the short-term, I’m excited to return to Outdoor Odyssey this summer as a junior counselor and to continue mentoring my 5th-grade student as she progresses through school.

Toohey, Lucas

Mt Pleasant Area Junior/Senior High School, 12

My plans after graduating high school are to attend Westminster College, where I will pursue a bachelor’s degree in finance. In addition, I will be playing soccer for the Westminster Titans Varsity Boy’s Soccer Team. Upon college graduation, I have future intentions of furthering my education in law school, and becoming an attorney.

Wang, Joey

Fox Chapel Area High School, 12

4 years of undergraduate study in biology and computer science, then pursuing a Master’s or MD.

Ward, Jessica

Chartiers Valley High School, 11

During my senior year, I plan to take several AP classes to further my learning and to challenge myself. I also plan on taking more leaderships opportunities in the clubs I am involved in, such as becoming President of the choir, officer for Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD), and an officer for the National Thespian Society. When I graduate, I plan on going to the University of Pittsburgh to study medicine in order to become a neurologist and help others who are suffering.

Weaver, Maya

Oakland Catholic High School, 12

In college, I look forward to my plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Biology. My goal is to reconcile these seemingly unrelated fields of study into a strong foundation for becoming a genetic counselor. As a genetic counselor, I hope to serve as a mediator between patient and physician whilst empowering and educating all people under my care. I hope to particularly work with BIPOC communities that have been underrepresented or dismissed within the healthcare industry.

Williams, Jordan

Seton-LaSalle High School, 11

I am currently a Junior in High School. From here until I am enrolled into college, I plan to earn my Eagle Scout award, help volunteer for mayoral candidate Ed Gainey’s campaign, complete my Eagle Scout Service project, intern at the Bootay, Bevington & Nichols Law Firm as well as intern the Bank of America in their Student Leaders Program. If I have some spare time over the summer, COVID permitting I plan to go to Mendi, Papua New Guinea where I will volunteer at the Catholic Diocese of Mendi.

Witt, Aaron

Kiski Area High School, 11

I plan to attend a four year university to pursue a degree in Computer Science, with a focus on Artificial Intelligence. I have been accepted into Harvard University’s Pre-College Summer School where I am enrolled in a college-level course on Computational Science. I am excited to explore problem solving methods and algorithm development using the high-level programming language Python.

Wygonik, Samuel

St. Joseph High School, 11

After high school, I plan to attend a prestigious university to study physics and/or economics. I then hope to move on to get my doctorate in astrophysics or theoretical physics. My hope is to work in a particle accelerator or at a university conducting research on high energy particles or on neutrinos. I hope to continue to be active in my community after high school and I hope to continue to swim competitively in college.

Yurkovich, Sara

Montour High School, 11

My post-secondary plans are undecided currently; although I do know that I will attend college after graduation. I know that I want to help people in life and have dedicated much of my time in high school doing so. Many of my experiences, both in school and in my community, are helping to shape my future plans. Although I am uncertain about my college major, I know that I want to continue helping people in life.

Zaidi, Alina

North Allegheny Senior High School, 11
Top Ten

After graduation, I plan on attending a 4-year university to study public health and economics. I am deeply interested in the intersections of climate change and global health, and hope to eventually attend medical school to provide medical assistance to vulnerable populations, such as refugees and the disabled. In college, I plan on continuing to play the violin and volunteering in my community whenever I can.

Zapanta, Elizabeth

Norwin High School, 12

After graduating high school, I plan to attend college to pursue a degree in International Relations and Public Policy. In the future I hope to work for the government in Washington, D.C. to create changes within communities in need.

Zhao, Qingqing

Shady Side Academy, 12
Top Ten

My plans are to attend a four-year college, majoring in Business with a minor in Statistics. I hope to apply my math and computer skills to my future financial analysis career at a CS company. I also plan to pursue an MBA degree after working for several years.

Zhao, Anker

Shady Side Academy, 11
Top Ten

In the future, I hope to run my own business focused on neuroscience and the development of an invention that improves the lives of thousands of people. I want to be apart of the coming scientific revolution that will further science. For the rest of my time in high school, I will continue to be in the Service Learning Club and a tutor in Urban Pathways Charter School. In addition, I will continue to do research work. I will attend PRSEF in March 2021.