“You Don’t Need to Start a Revolution to Make a Change”

by | Feb 2019

Armstrong High School students Nadrat Amos, Ben Aoki-Sherwood and Marico Bibriezca

Armstrong High School students Nadrat Amos, Ben Aoki-Sherwood and Marico Bibriezca. Photo: Rachel Nadeau

Meet these Armstrong High School standout students.

Armstrong High School is full of talented scholars, athletes, social justice leaders, and more. Get to know these three remarkable students.

Nadrat Amos
Nadrat Amos, an Armstrong senior, is the school’s National Honors Society president. She views her position as a chance to bring change to her community.

“I try to help people whenever I can, but I always thought you had to be a high profile activist to enact any meaningful change,” she says. Being in NHS showed her that the opposite is true. “Each time I’d volunteer at an event, whether it was helping out with an activity night at an elementary school or tutoring freshmen during my study hall, I realized even things that may seem small can make a really big difference.”

“[I want to] reach out and help people of different backgrounds in my community,” says Amos. To help her accomplish this goal, she’s become the leader of “Act On It,” an organization encouraging students to think about social and racial injustices.

All of these opportunities, Amos says, have taught her that “you don’t need to start a revolution to make a change.”

Ben Aoki-Sherwood
“Here at Armstrong, I have tried to get as involved as possible. After all, I only had four years to take advantage of all the opportunities available to people my age,” says senior Ben Aoki—Sherwood.

From sports to music, Aoki-Sherwood has tried a bit of everything. “I have been a member of the Nordic skiing and cross-country teams for the past six years, and am now a captain of both.” He also participates in track in the spring.

While the exercise is always good, Aoki-Sherwood’s reason for taking part in athletics is more philosophical. “These sports…give me some time every day to just wipe everything out of my mind and focus on really living to the fullest extent that I can.”

Aoki-Sherwood also plays cello in Armstrong’s symphonic orchestra and chamber strings group. These musical outlets give him an opportunity to express himself and catch up with a few of his best friends who are also involved in the orchestras.

In addition to his impressive extracurriculars, Aoki-Sherwood scored a perfect 36 out of 36 on the ACT college entrance exam. He says, “When I found out, I was pretty elated to hear that I had gotten a perfect score, but I still know that I am not defined by a single number, no matter how amazing that number is.”

With college coming up, Aoki-Sherwood is considering his next steps. He has applied to the University of Chicago, Yale, Harvard and M.I.T. “I will most certainly continue to play the cello and be active outdoors, whether or not it is in an organized context.” He’s considering astrophysics, aeronautics or chemistry as a potential major and “hope[s] to get a career in physics or aerospace after grad school.”

Marco Bibriezca
Marco Bibriezca is Armstrong’s senior class co-president, captain of the Crystal Police Explorers, a program for students to learn more about law enforcement, a lector at his church, a faith formation teacher, vice-president of the National Honor and the Relay for Life team captain.

Together with co-class president Anna Niemela, Bibriezca has been working to relaunch Armstrong’s recycling program, “which had been suspended due to insufficient funding,” he says. “We plan to fix this by applying for a grant through the Hennepin County Office of Energy and Recycling.”

“It makes me…proud to see how my hard work has paid off. [Anna and I] are proud to represent our class and to be the leaders of [a group of] enthusiastic scholars,” he says.

Bibriezca plans to pursue a career as a cardio-thoracic surgeon.


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