Madeika Vercella — 2018 High Schooler Who Will Change The World


Student: Madeika Vercella
School: Walden School of Liberal Arts
Parents: Madeleine Derelus & Yvetaud Vercella

Madeika Vercella understands you have to make your own opportunities. Her small hometown had limited educational opportunities, so she found the Walden School, moved more than 1,000 miles away from home and has opened doors that put her on a path to a career in health science. Knock, knock.

Mini-resume Huntsman Cancer Institute biomedical research grant recipient, Crocker Science Scholar, Science Sterling Scholar semifinalist, Utah County Youth of the Year, student government president, National Honor Society president, 3.928 GPA.

Plans after high school University of Utah Honors College, biology major, pursue either medicine or research (or both)

Personal motto If they can do it, so can I.

Keys to happiness in high school Balance and remaining true to yourself.

Guilty pleasure Plantain chips and hot showers (obviously not at the same time).

Most common thing parents say to you If you have an opportunity, take it.

Challenge to overcome Moving over 1,000 miles away from my family to pursue better educational opportunities.

No. 1 thing you’ve learned in high school Be genuine.

Best high school memory Canyoneering waterfalls in Ecuador with some of my closest friends.

How will you change the world? I hope to inspire others to not necessarily mirror my own aspirations, but to be unapologetically ruthless in all of their pursuits and roam past the boundaries life presents them.

Greg Bennett

Greg Bennett is an editor and writer with Bennett Communications. His primary responsibilities are with Utah Valley Magazine and the company's custom publications division. He's the father of four children and has been married to his wife, Adria, for 19 years. Contact Greg at

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