* Name: Chris Wess, 15, of Columbia.* School: Sophomore at...


November 23, 1992

* Name: Chris Wess, 15, of Columbia.

* School: Sophomore at Atholton High School.

* Why Chris was honored: He participated in the 1992 Summer at the Mall Internship, a six-week program that exposes students in the Maryland's Tomorrow Program to different jobs, such as engineering, construction, marketing and accounting. Although Chris is still working to improve his grade-point average, he has earned B's in science and math. Last year, he earned many failing grades, he said. His attitude about school has brightened, said Susan Alderson, Atholton's co-coordinator of Maryland's Tomorrow Program, which encourages students to stay in school.

"I see in Chris someone who [has] matured in the past year, and in time will be a very good student," said Ms. Alderson.

She said his work experience at The Mall "gave him a chance to shine in a different area. It built his self-esteem and ego."

* Chris' comments: "I went to school but I wasn't there mentally. [This year] something just clicked in my head."

* Goals: After high school, Chris said he hopes to join the Navy and serve on a carrier or battleship.

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