Highland Rambler

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Highland Rambler

Maja Abildso Achieves What Others Only Dream

Billie Martinez and Red Gunn

In a world where the mere mention of logarithms and binomial expansions might induce a collective groan from many, there exists a remarkable individual who sees through this code and at the beauty and significance of mathematics in everyday life. Meet Maja Abildso, the distinguished recipient of Highland High School’s Sterling Scholar Award in Mathematics. Through her innate ability to decipher the language of numbers and equations, Maja not only excels academically but also fosters a deep appreciation for the practical applications of mathematics. Igniting a passion within her to explore its potential in fields as diverse as aerospace engineering and theater costume design.

While some may struggle to envision the practical application of mathematics outside the realms of engineering or finance, Maja’s vision transcends traditional boundaries. Armed with a passion for numbers and an insatiable curiosity, she plans to embark on a journey into aerospace engineering. A field that integrates mathematics into the realm of satellites, missiles, and airplanes. Achieving a dream that every child has but never succeeds. Maja is doing it for all of us. However, when Maja was asked whether or not she had always been interested in this particular field, she had this to say.

“I would say I have not, however, I have always loved outer space and space travel and learning about the planets and the Appolo MIssions and stuff like that.

In addition to this love for the explored and unexplored Maja wishes to use her abilities to help improve the lives of others.

“I would love to be a part of building better, faster, and safer airplanes (and more specifically) more comfortable airplanes.”

Maja’s journey through the International Baccalaureate (IB) program since her freshman year has been nothing short of extraordinary. Within this rigorous academic environment, she found herself surrounded by a community of friends and mentors who provided unwavering support and encouragement. When asked how this had impacted her journey through high school, she had this to say:  

“A big thing that kept me in the program is the friends I’ve made. They’re always so supportive, so that has really kept me going.” 

It was within this nurturing environment that Maja’s passion for her academics flourished, propelled by the camaraderie and shared pursuit of excellence among her peers. Her experience underscores the transformative power of a nurturing environment in fostering intellectual growth and personal development, shaping her into the sterling scholar she is today.

Reflecting on her experiences within the IB program, Maja attributes much of her success to the collaborative efforts of her friends, family, and the guidance of dedicated teachers. 

“The teachers; all of them are so supportive and are always so willing to help you with papers (as much as IB allows them to).”  

In addition to the guidance at school, her home life laid the foundation for which she was able to dedicate herself to this achievement. Acknowledging her mom as an integral part of her success.

“My mom has been there for me a lot. Helping me read and edit all sorts of essays, as well as listening to all sorts of complaining.”

Maja attributes much of her achievements to the collective support she has received, nurturing a sense of camaraderie and determination that fueled her journey toward her award. Speaking volumes about the values instilled in her and the unwavering encouragement she receives from those closest to her, empowering her to pursue her dreams with confidence and determination.

Before Maja sets her sights on higher education. Shes decided to take a gap year in her family’s ancestral land of Denmark. Pursuing a long nearly 200-year-old tradition of Højskole or Folk High School. 

“I’m doing a four-month-long semester, I’ll essentially be living at the school where you can build a community and take classes just for the sake of learning. They’re not for grades and you dont get any degrees” 

Maja also expressed her desire to connect with her Danish heritage, saying, “It’s a chance to visit family and family friends and get closer to them. My mom keeps telling me there are people texting her asking “Whens Maja coming and when can we see her?”

Yet her aspirations don’t end there. Beyond the realm of academia, Maja’s interests span across a diverse array of pursuits. Maja harbors a keen interest in theater costume design, showcasing thinking that sets her apart.  

“I find myself using math in everyday situations. For example, I have a quilt hanging in the Highland Gallery, and I found myself using geometry to measure out its proportions.” 

Doing what every math teacher dreams of their students, Maja has used mathematics as a thread woven throughout her works. Weaving its way into every facet of her life and fueling her aspirations for the future.  

As she prepares to embark on the next chapter of her life, Maja embodies the spirit of the Sterling Scholar—a beacon of excellence with a sense of genuineness that is reflected in every aspect of her being.

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