March-April 2012 | Education

Top Teens 2012

Bethesda Magazine's 2012 Extraordinary Teen Awards.

Photo by Michael VenturaJulianne Pearson

Senior, Connelly School of the Holy Child

Even at a school where community service is a given, 18-year-old Julianne Pearson stands out: She literally has put in hundreds of hours.

The Bethesda resident has taught Sunday school and lectors regularly at Sunday Mass at St. Bartholomew’s Parish in Bethesda. She has tutored middle school and high school students and has worked at summer camps for underprivileged students in Washington, D.C., and New York City.

She coaches youth basketball and is vice president of Holy Child’s chapter of Best Buddies International, an organization that seeks to foster friendships for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Other accomplishments: Julianne is vice president of the school’s National Honor Society. She has a weighted GPA of 4.2, the second highest in her class last semester—and a particularly noteworthy accomplishment considering she missed significant class time after sustaining debilitating concussions while playing soccer as a freshman and a junior. She sings with the Holy Child chorus and successfully auditioned to join the jazz ensemble and the Connelly Camerata. Last October, the Potomac Chamber of Commerce named her Youth of the Year—an honor bestowed upon a student who exhibits extraordinary scholarship, leadership and community service—and she rode in the Potomac Day Parade.

What others say: “She has such a radiance about her,” says Jean Plummer, director of campus ministry at Holy Child. “She’s a very thoughtful person in a very mature way—beyond what you’d expect in a person her age.”

What her future holds: Julianne has always dreamed of teaching, but inspired by the medical care she received for her concussions, she now is considering becoming a pediatrician or a pediatric neurologist.