Aaron Gravely

Hometown: Yeadon, PA

high school: Penn Wood Sr. High School

college: Harvard University

MAJOR: Biological Sciences

At a young age, Aaron was always “that kid” who wouldn’t keep still, constantly bursting with energy and always eager to participate in anything that would keep him on his feet. Though still imbued with an inclination for movement, he now harnesses that energy into a more cognitive form. A firm believer in the capability of the mind, Aaron commits himself to using his intellect to better both himself and his community.Coming from a less than satisfactory public school, Aaron has not been privileged to the best of education. Nonetheless, he has used his intelligence to flourish within the realm of academia on a national level. He understands that the disadvantages of life can only bring about failure if he permits them to do so. The only National Merit Scholar Finalist of his high school since 1990, Aaron has also earned recognition as a National Achievement Scholar, and an AP Scholar with Honor. He has even made his distinction within the sphere of standardized testing, scoring a perfect 36 on the Reading ACT. With a grade point average well over a 4.0, he will graduate as the Valedictorian of his class.

In addition to excelling in high school, Aaron opted to further challenge himself as a dual-enrolled student at Drexel University where he currently takes Multivariate Calculus. Additionally, in the summer of 2008 Aaron spent his summer as a student at Carnegie Mellon University as part of their highly competitive AP/EA Summer Program for Diversity.  

Aaron accompanies his intellect with an enthusiastic engagement in community service. Though deeply immersed in his studies, he assigns equal importance to the value of giving. He knows that no matter how hard he studies, the fruits of his labor will never be fully manifested unless he dedicates his time to aiding those in need. Aaron’s altruistic nature has propelled him to volunteer at such places as The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, various homeless shelters, and Snyderville CDC – a summer program created for children of a low socioeconomic status in West Philadelphia. Likewise, Aaron serves as a tutor, helping students primarily in mathematics, science, and SAT prep. As a tutor, he seeks to instill within his peers a passion for learning similar to his own.

In his early adolescence Aaron grew into an agile thinker, often occupying himself in periods of self-reflection and thoughtful observation of his environment. It was during these moments of intimate thought that Aaron developed a strong affinity to the mind/brain which has since matured into a passion for neuroscience. Not one to let his curiosity sit idly, Aaron has cultivated his interest of the human psyche into various outlets of his life. In 2008, he won 1st place in the Philadelphia Brain Bee held at the University of Pennsylvania which secured him with a spot to compete in the U.S National Brain Bee sponsored by the Society for Neuroscience. In college Aaron plans to pursue a major in Neurobiology with a pre-medicine track. His ultimate goal is to become a Neurosurgeon, a career which he views as the ideal means for combining his intellectual fascination of the brain with his desire to serve others. 

With so many issues facing our communities, the ever-present need for active deliberation never eludes Aaron’s mind. Like Voltaire, he believes that “no problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking”. With his intellect he will combat the vices of society; and through his mental mobility he hopes to inspire others to do the same.

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