As her high school years come to an end, Maple Dynan has had to scale back on the extracurricular activities she has always loved. But that doesn't mean the 17-year-old Lakeside High School senior is anything but busy.
"She works a part-time job and attributes this experience with having helped her develop a broader perspective of what it is like to work for a living," said John Cato, Maple's advanced placement physics teacher. "She is very involved in her faith. She contributes an enormous amount of time to the Jewish community."
Maple's plate is quite full with activities, which range from serving as president of the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization to volunteering with the National Honor Society.
As president of the Augusta chapter of the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization, an organization for high school Jewish girls, Maple is responsible for running meetings and doing lots of volunteer work with the organization.
"It's more of a social group bound by religion," said Maple of the group. "About eight weekends of the school year are spent traveling."
In addition to serving at the local level, Maple is vice president of the Southern Region: Dixie Council. The region includes Augusta, Savannah, Columbia, Charleston and Macon.
"We do a lot of stuff for the local Jewish community center, from serving food to helping people; whatever needs are asked of us," she said.
At the regional level, Maple has worked at a warehouse, sorting and boxing clothing to be shipped to victims of Hurricane Katrina.
"We do a lot of visiting to old people's homes and random things that people need help with," said Maple, the daughter of Drs. Rhea Markowitz and William Dynan. "We're called upon by different people to do work for them."
As part of her volunteer work with the school's national honor society, Maple helped hold a senior prom for residents of St. Johns Tower last year.
"We danced with people and everyone was really happy," she said. "It was a real fun event."
Maple's teachers say their student's attempts at being perfect are always close to the surface.
"She tends to be a perfectionist and demands perfection from herself, even when she is having a hard time with something," Cato said.
Additionally, her advanced placement calculus teacher, Jerry Meitin, said her willingness to go the extra mile is always evident.
"Maple truly cares about learning the material covered in class," Meitin said. "It is more than just getting a good grade. She will always ask questions or come by for additional help when she doesn't understand something. She is always smiling even though I know she puts tremendous pressure on herself to do well."
Striving to do well is certainly not something Maple plans to stop after high school. Her plans call for entering an Ivy League school, preferably Tufts University in Medford, Mass., to major in international relations. After that, she wants to go to law school.
"International relations really ties in well with the travels of my life," said Maple, who has been to Italy, Germany, Portugal, Spain and Antigua, in addition to California.
A big aspiration, however, is making a meaningful difference on the political scene. She doesn't, however, want to be a politician, but instead work behind the scenes.
"I want to kind of change the community a little bit," she said.
Added Cato: "I will truly miss not seeing Maple around here after this year and I would not be surprised to see her running for president in a few decades!"
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