United Dairymen of Idaho Distinguished Student Award winner -- Emma Thackray -- has some impressive academic credentials. The Century High School senior has a 4.341 GPA and scored 770 in the math portion of the SAT test. She credits her parents with instilling a love of learning in her.
"When I was really young they encouraged me to pursue what I was interested in and my mom always took me to the library and helped me check out books," Emma said.
Much of the school day Emma is taking hard AP classes like calculus and composition. She loves it.
"I like the challenge and a lot of the time there are interesting things they cover that general classes don't," Emma said.
While Emma likes the challenging classes, she looks forward to the last hour of the school day when she has art. She especially enjoys pottery.
“It's really cool and know that I made it,” Emma said. “The good thing about pottery is that it's so permanent, and it's something that's tangible that you can have and keep and look at."
Emma plans to go to the University of Utah and study biomedical engineering. She feels it's an exciting field where she can make a difference.
"Better imaging helps detect diseases earlier so that people can start treatment earlier, and there are devices that make surgeries easier," Emma said.
Emma devotes a good deal of time to her studies, but also recommends getting involved in extracurricular activities. She participates in speech, debate and cross country.