Forward Thinking


Balancing extracurricular activities and school is hard enough, but adding in thinking about colleges and test scores, things get complicated. Just imagine if some of that stress could go away after receiving a perfect score on the ACT. Senior Lotte Bezemer has done exactly that.

Getting a perfect score of 36 on all four sections of the ACT is one task, but getting into college is a completely different accomplishment. Bezemer is currently awaiting responses from several colleges, her top picks being Swarthmore College, and the University College of Utrecht in the Netherlands.

“To be completely honest I have absolutely no clue where [to go]” Bezemer said. “It depends on what colleges I get into but even if I get into every school I applied to I don’t think I could choose.”

Colleges look at several things, test scores, GPA’s and transcripts, what activities a student is involved with outside of academics, and handling all of this at once shows commitment and reliability.

Bezemer is involved in several activities including the health science majors, The Center for Advanced Studies and Research, and varsity swim for all four years in high school. Bezemer’s work ethic was clear when she entered high school, coming onto a varsity team as a freshman is difficult, but becoming a leader out of it is even harder.

“When she showed up her freshman year, she had swam for a smaller club that most of the time gets overlooked,” Smith said. “Just the way that she went about her practicing and handling of her own business she was the only girl, a freshmen in a lane of all senior boys.”

Not only does her personality stand out, but her work ethic is something that contributed to the success outside the pool.

“It took me a while to figure out how to manage my time but I think that at some point I was forced to learn time management. I wouldn’t have much time to do homework since most of my day was taken up by school and swim,” Bezemer said. “Eventually I figured out what motivated me to actually work on my homework and get it done faster.”

A lot of preparation goes into taking the ACT or SAT, everyone goes into it with a different mind set, whether it be the mentality of success or with completely no preparation at all.

“I took the ACT for the first time without studying. It helped me get a feel of what the test was and how much time I had for each section,” Bezemer said. “I also figured out that I liked the ACT a lot better than the SAT so I focused on that test.”

Each year about 4,500 seniors living in the U.S. are selected based on their test scores to have an opportunity to attend the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Out of that,160 students are chosen based on an application process listing extracurriculars and an essay. Bezemer is currently going through this application process.

Research is required for the submission, for the past two years Bezemer has been working on her Center project pertaining to the analysis of prison programs to see how effectively they promote rehabilitation. Currently she is researching how it imminates to access therapy and classes remotely to reduce prison recidivism rates.

“I’m impressed by Lotte’s long term commitment to her project,” McGinnis said.  “She realizes that bringing her vision to reality will require years of dedication, and she is fully willing to devote the time and energy necessary to improving inmates’ lives.”

With the assistance of Dr.Lucas, a professor at CLU,  Bezemer is looking to tour a prison with Dr.Lucas’s class and strive toward achieving her long term goal. Each of these components is going to contribute to her acceptance into the program.

The program was established in 1964 by Executive Order of the President to recognize accomplished graduating seniors. The selected scholars are invited to Washington, DC in June for the National Recognition Program, to celebrate and receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion.

“The 160 seniors that end up going to Washington DC recieve a medal of recognition for their achievements in a variety of different areas,” Bezemer said. “They go on the trip in June and receive their medallion at a White House sponsored ceremony.”

If accepted into the program, several future endeavors could benefit. Past recipients have gone on to pursue careers as ministers, military officers, state governors, star in movies and even go on to win Pulitzer Prizes.

“I’m sure it will look good on resumes and just in general but more importantly it’ll help me grow as a person,” Bezemer said. “I would love to learn more about the experiences of different people throughout the county and I think it would really change me for the better.”

Her career path is currently unknown, but chemistry and computer science currently interest her. Other areas like sociology and humanities interest her as well, but she is moving forward with an open mind.