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Fredrika Aakerman

Ingrid Aakerman

Elementary School: International School of Manila (Taguig, Philippines); Magnarps Skola (Vejbystrand, Sweden); Uppsala Enskilda Skola (Uppsala, Sweden); Internationella Engelska Skolan i Uppsala (Uppsala, Sweden)
College: Yale-NUS College (after a gap year in Sweden)
Major: Life Sciences with a minor in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
Career Aspiration: I want to contribute to the work of empowering science to drive social policy by bridging science, technology, and society.

Extra Curricula
National Honor Society (Secretary); Club Med (Secretary); Girls Tennis Team (Senior Year Co-Captain); Swedes Worldwide (Youth Ambassador); Community Meeting (Ambassador); International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (Research Intern); EF Glocal Challenge and Cambridge Community Development Department (Intern); Freshman Mentor; Student Guide; Club 4; The Register Forum.

Favorite Class at CRLS
AP Environmental Science. As I am from Sweden, which is frequently designated to be the most environmentally friendly country worldwide, I could color-code recycling coupons and sort plastic by type before I could spell my name correctly. However, when taking Ms. Stomberg's AP Environmental Science class, my perspective on living responsibly in and with nature fundamentally changed. In addition to environmental sustainability, the curriculum and its teaching of sustainable development broadened my knowledge to encompass two additional, yet equally essential pillars: economic and social sustainability. I learned about healthcare policy, women empowerment, population growth, education and, in particular, how an underlying understanding of science and math can lead us to imagine and drive policies for a more just world for our environment and ourselves. In the age when sustainable development is the aim of almost every country globally, no matter whether you intend to become an environmental scientist or a kindergarten teacher, physicist, news editor, and chief executive, your work will be an essential part of addressing the global challenges the world faces. Taking AP Environmental Science enables you to utilize your role in this new age as it is not only a way to become an informed citizen but also a fundamental responsibility you have to the current and coming generation of life in the world.

Favorite Teacher
Ms. Philippe. I had Ms. Philippe in HN Geometry my sophomore year. However, her involvement in my development as a student and individual did not end at the conclusion of the semester; she continued to check in with me during lunches and after school to guide me through the college admissions process. From discussing my schedule to researching program requirements at US colleges, she did not hesitate at the chance of making up for the insider knowledge I had missed as a result of having gone through elementary school outside of the US and opened my eyes to all the opportunities that surrounded me. Her kind and thoughtful approach to guiding students and unwavering support and patience put me on the path towards finding myself and my dreams in a country and school that was, and still is, widely unfamiliar and far from home.

What are some of the out-of-school time (OST) programs that you participated in between grades 6 - 12?

How did being enrolled in any OST program(s) contribute to your success in and out of high school?

What did you like most about CRLS? Why?
I liked the engagement among students and faculty the most. Over the last four years, a momentous transformation has taken place in the country as a whole and the role it plays in the world. Nevertheless, as demonstrated by the commitment and drive of CRLS-led activities involved in a wide range of issues, from racial justice to climate policy, the school community has faced the changes with courage and used the educational system as a catalyst for action. From the headlines of my home country's newspapers and Skype calls with my Swedish friends, I know that the admiration for the CRLS and American school community is shared by many, not only by me. The students and faculty and the national movements they have engaged in are genuinely a force of hope and inspiration for the future.

What is something people unfamiliar with CRLS should know about the school? Why? 
The school is filled with beautiful wall art. My favorites, in particular, are the murals of houses on both sides of the bridge. Make sure to look at them carefully now and then! Art, and how we choose to look at it, can teach us how to look at other things in life, academic, or otherwise.

Advice to Incoming Freshmen
Be mindful of your mental health. CRLS courses offer a wealth of knowledge and the ability to grow as a thinker. However, take it from a perfectionist: sometimes, studying less is learning more. If you are at all like me, you will feel overwhelmed and like you need to know every detail to excel. However, that is not only impossible but also unnecessary. Learn how to understand the big picture (ask your teachers what that means‚ they will know), while using the rest of your time to eat and sleep well. That way, when it is time for action, your mind will not only know the content but also have the energy to think creatively and apply it to new and unfamiliar situations. It is enormously challenging to rewire an already tired mind, so take care of it now or wish you did when you graduate.

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