Writing Our Future

Sophomore Grace Beelman plans to attend the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institute to study environmental science and writing.

Avery Brundige, Features Editor

submitted by Grace Beelman
Sophomore Grace Beelman proudly displays her Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institute letter March 4.

Exhausted from track practice, she opened her laptop. A notification caught her eye. An email from the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institute sat in her inbox awaiting her click. The selections had been made. As she opened the email, her excitement overflowed like the virtual confetti blossoming on screen. She was accepted.

“When I opened the acceptance letter, the first thing I saw was confetti on the screen and I was immediately ecstatic. Being able to spend three weeks learning from Stanford educators is a dream come true.””

— Sophomore Grace Beelman

Beelman applied to the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institute with the hope of furthering her passion for writing and the environment in a highly academic climate. She was accepted into the “Writing the Future of the Planet” and is looking forward to spending her summer in contact with professors and students who share her unique passion.

“Stanford has always been my dream university, so when I heard about the Pre-Collegiate Summer Institute, it was no question that I had to apply,” Beelman said. “The summer course selection was also extremely appealing to me because they fit many of my passions.

 Beelman enlisted the help of her teachers and family during the application process. Environmental science teacher Amy Vandenbrul oversaw Beelman’s genetic labs and exploration of Microarrays. English teacher Katie Durkin and past biology teacher Erin Paterson each wrote letters of recommendation. Essays included, the application took about two months altogether. Her successes were celebrated in an email to the whole community.

“Congratulations to Grace Beelman who was accepted into the Writing for the Future of the Planet summer program at Stanford University,” principal Natalie McDonough said via the Sion Weekly. “The highly selective program has a focus on climate activism through journalism.”

In light of COVID-19, Stanford University moved its three-week summer program online. Despite the change, Beelman says she is still excited and is looking forward to simply being in contact with teens like her.

“While I am sad that I will not be able to participate in the full pre-collegiate residential experience, I am confident that these three weeks will still provide me with a great opportunity to learn and grow academically,” Beelman said.

Stanford has been Beelman’s “dream university” for as long as she can remember, according to her. Beelman’s mother Tera Beelman said she admires her daughter’s perseverance and passion for learning.

“When Grace is passionate about something, she works hard until she accomplishes her goal,” Tera said. “This is just one of many successes she’s had in her young life and we’re certain there will be many more to come.”

While attending her summer course, Beelman and her classmates will “explore how language can address some of the most pressing issues of our time, including climate change, natural disaster, biodiversity loss, and more,” according to the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes website.

“I am most excited to meet people who share the same passion for the environment and writing as I do,” Beelman said. “I think that learning from my peers and the experts at Stanford is going to be an incomparable experience.”