Megan Alexander, 18

Nutrition activist

Her story: Concerned about the nutritional value of the vending-machine food served at school during lunch, Megan established Create a Change Now. The goal: Help kids better understand the importance of nutrition. One of the program’s goals is to plant gardens at at-risk schools and invite chefs to give healthful-cooking demonstrations. Last year, she worked with grade-school children at The Meadows, showing them how to grow vegetables out of used milk cartons and when to plant certain fruits and vegetables throughout the year. Her commitment is expanding: She plans to teach students the importance of nutrition at an assembly at West Preparatory Academy Elementary School.

School: The Meadows School, senior

Extras: Megan is a member of the National Honor Society, the National Spanish Honor Society and the Cum Laude Society. She wants to follow her parents into the medical field (her father is a plastic surgeon and her mother assists with the practice). She is active in her school’s recycling program, works with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and tutors underprivileged children. She also runs cross country for The Meadows, finishing sixth in the state meet last year despite a stress fracture in her leg, and this fall she was first in regionals.

What she’ll be doing in 10 years: “I will be pursuing a self-employed career and beginning a family. I know that I will always stay active—both in my fitness and dedication to promoting a healthy community.”

What they’re saying about her: “I think what strikes me most about Megan is her passion and commitment to the activities she undertakes,” says Charlie Bernick, cross-country coach at The Meadows. “Though she is a talented runner, what sets her apart is her willingness to put in the effort to achieve her goals. There is no question that she brings this same passion to the other activities she is involved in. Yet she is extremely easy to work with, accepting of advice and her pleasant personality shines through.”

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