Eric LarsenSchool: Oakland Mills High SchoolHometown...

STUDENT STANDOUT

May 23, 1994

Eric Larsen

School: Oakland Mills High School

Hometown: Columbia

Age: 18

Through his involvement with PLOOM, or Peer Leaders of Oakland Mills, Eric works daily with a 15-year-old autistic teen-ager named John, who is enrolled as a special education student.

Eric's teachers rave about his work. "The manner in which Eric handles John is truly heartwarming," writes guidance counselor Marian Christian. "In order to learn more about autism and how he could be most helpful, Eric reads periodicals and talked to professionals in the field, a beyond-the-call effort that few high school students would give."

Eric runs cross-country, as well as indoor and outdoor track. He serves as class treasurer and is a National Honor Society member.

He became an Eagle Scout last year after completing a project in which he helped improve the safety of a playground at Christ Memorial Presbyterian Church in Columbia. He worked with a landscaping company to have a fence installed and to have bushes on a steep hill removed to protect the children who use the playground.

Plans: He intends to enroll at Drexel University's engineering program.

His comments: Working with special education students has "made me more open-minded toward other people and other people's values and their points of view," he says.

Send nominations to Student Standout, The Sun for Howard County, 5570 Sterrett Place, Suite 300, Columbia, MD 21044. Please enclose a brief description of the student's activities and a phone number to reach the student.

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