The student: Michelle McGrain, 11
School: Harper's Choice Middle School
The achievement: One of six Howard County students named Carson Scholars this year. The Carson Scholars Fund - which was co-founded by Dr. Benjamin Carson, best-selling author and director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions - recognized Michelle for her academic excellence and extracurricular endeavors. Michelle reports that she received all A's on her report cards this past year. She has been studying and performing Irish dance for the past six years.
Dancing for others: "Through my Irish dance school, I have performed many times to raise funds for community groups and for entertainment, too, and once I performed at a retirement home."
Why she dances: "It makes me feel good because once it's finished and you see everybody who enjoyed it so much, it's just very rewarding. ... And if it was a fund-raising activity, I know I helped some people."
Much more than dance: Michelle studies drama and is in her school's chorus. "I'm in the band at school to play flute, and I have piano lessons and dance lessons and Hebrew school all on different days, so it works out pretty well."