BY MATTHEW LANE, Kingsport Times-News
KINGSPORT — Our region has some truly exceptional young students.
From an Elizabethton girl who runs a successful hand-lettering business, to a DB Excel boy who specialized in underwater robotics, to a pair of home-schooled brothers who are state ambassadors educating other students about the dangers of tobacco use.
These students and 17 others will be recognized for their academic and extracurricular excellence at the inaugural Streamworks’ “Twenty Under 20” event, which will be held at the Kingsport Civic Auditorium tonight at 7 p.m.
Streamworks, powered by the Eastman Foundation, is an educational program that offers K-12 students a chance to participate in STEM-related activities. It does so by reaching out and building partnerships with multiple education systems and community organizations to grow STEM programs throughout the region.
“As connections were made and stories were shared, we realized that there were some amazing and very accomplished students in this region that deserved recognition,” said Lori Templeton, president of Zion Marine and chair of the Streamworks advisory council. “This is our inaugural event and will be an annual event moving forward.”
Streamworks will also be posthumously honoring Matthew Millsaps at the dinner with a special “Twenty Under 20” recognition. Millsaps, who attended the program’s Drone XL Camp in July 2018, passed away in October 2018 after a battle with leukemia.
“Matthew was a STEM champion choosing to spend the time he had left with his family and learning. He chose to pursue his education, he chose to grow his skills in STEM initiatives, he chose to pursue being better even in the face of the trials he was up against,” said Dennis Courtney, executive director of Streamworks. “He left an important message to us, part of life’s joy is to learn and love what we do. Matthew did that until he was no longer able.”
Students being recognized at Tuesday’s dinner include those who have designed experiments for and worked with NASA, philanthropists who have founded nonprofits in high school, entrepreneurs with successful businesses impacting the region’s economy in middle school, robotics engineers competing and winning on the world stage, and researchers changing the world on a local, state, national, and international scale.
“Our region needs to know the caliber of young leaders and world changers they have in their midst to be proud of and cheer on,” Templeton said. “This is the reason Twenty Under 20 was born.”
ABOUT THE WINNERS
Abbie Addington, 17, Elizabethton High School
At 17, Abbie Addington already has the titles of entrepreneur, philanthropist and scholar. As an honor student at Elizabethton High School with a 4.0 GPA, Abbie ranks in the top 10% of her class, is in the National Honor Society, a Student Government Association officer, a member of the 30+ ACT club, is a soccer standout, and the list goes on. Abbie runs a successful hand-lettering business from which she donates 50% of the proceeds to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.
Luke and Pate Anglin, homeschooled, Johnson City
Brothers Luke, 15, and Pate, 16, are a dynamic duo of entrepreneurs and philanthropists. They already own their own successful woodworking business, “The Anglin Brothers,” which won the “Best Business Potential” award at the Elizabethton Children’s Fair. Both brothers serve as one of nine state ambassadors with Tennessee Strong, a program committed to educating students about the dangers of tobacco use.
Gavin Bentley, 17, Dobyns-Bennett Excel
Gavin is more than just a student, he is an inventor, engineer, and peer. Gavin has spent the last two years as the CEO of the R Mateys Underwater Robotics Team, which he co-founded, and is co-creator of the Drone Racing-Team at Dobyns-Bennett Excel. His leadership skills landed him a role on the school’s student leadership team LEAD DBE, where he vibrantly articulates the vision and purpose to new students and visitors. Gavin is in the top 10% of his class, a counselor to aspiring MATE middle schoolers, a concert pianist, and an award-winning philanthropist.
Adia Bulawa, 18, Greeneville High School
Intrigued with space exploration from a young age, Adia Bulawa is getting an early start on her engineering career. She has already developed experiments and designs that have been recognized by NASA. Her projects have been flown on missions, spent time on the international space station and will support future space missions. She has made presentations to the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and at Washington D.C.’s Science and Engineering Festival. Adia is an award-winning golfer and serves in multiple leadership roles as class treasurer, captain of the girl’s golf team, and president of the Science Olympiad.
Quintin Folkner, 16, Dobyns-Bennett Excel
As a 16-year-old rising senior, Quintin is the co-founder of DB Excel’s robotics and drone teams, a member of the National Honor Society, and was selected as part of DB Excel’s student leadership team, Lead DB Excel. He is the pilot and lead engineer for the regional and international award-winning R Mateys Underwater Robotics Team. Quintin’s passions have led him to a part-time job teaching other students about STEM.
Makaila Freeman, 15, Dobyns-Bennett High School
As a founding member and CEO of Dobyns-Bennett’s underwater robotics team, Makaila has developed a passion for helping others understand the applications of science, math, coding and engineering in their education and everyday life. Beyond inspiring her teammates, she works part-time teaching these applications and spends several hours a week volunteering her time to educate elementary and middle school students about the possibilities surrounding these activities.
Jackson Harrison, 17, Central High School
With his sights set on becoming an orthopedic surgeon, Jackson Harrison’s passion for science and medicine is already proving beneficial for himself and others. As captain of the school’s football team, Jackson has a hand in designing programs that benefit him and his teammates which his coaches respect and are putting into action. His athletic abilities have landed him as All-Conference designations for 2017 and 2018. He was also named the National Foundation Mountain Empire Football Scholar Athlete of the Year for 2019 and inducted into its football Hall of Fame. Jackson is ranked first in his class, carrying over a 4.0 GPA for the majority of his high school career.
Andrew Keith, 18, Science Hill High School
Andrew Keith is an entrepreneur and journalism pioneer, already operating his own blog and online newspaper and serving as editor in chief of Science Hill’s school newspaper, which he founded upon realizing the school did not have one. Andrew ranks in the top of his class, is a member of the 30+ ACT club, carries an AP score of 5, and has a 4.0 GPA. In addition to his academic accomplishments, Andrew is on the school’s tennis team, serves as an ambassador for the Langston Education & Arts Development Organization, and is a member of the Johnson City Chamber’s Leadership Class of 2019.
Jasmine Monroe, 14, Dobyns-Bennett Excel
Jasmine Monroe is a freshman at Dobyns-Bennett EXCEL. During her inaugural year of high school, Jasmine excelled in her immersion amidst the STEM curriculum. Jasmine represents Lead DBE for her class. She holds positions as the public relations manager of the MATE Robotics Team and the sponsor/manager of the Creative Writing and Film Club. Her academic prowess is supplemented by hobbies/interests, including the Kingsport Theatre Guild, Kenpo karate, and CAD training/coding through ETSU.
Andrew Osborne, 19, US Air Force, Gate City High School
Andrew Osborne ranked in the top of his class at Gate City High School and loved playing sports. At only 17 years old, he made the decision to graduate high school early and follow what he believed God was calling him to do. Andrew enlisted in the US Air Force with his parents’ permission and is excelling at every level. At age 17, Andrew became the youngest candidate to make it into Special Operations/TACP. Andrew was one of only two members of his class selected to attend the Joint Tactical Air Controller Qualification Course in Germany and the only recipient of the gold medallion.
Lauren Paterson, 16, Johnson County High School
Lauren is a four-year veteran of her school’s VEX robotics team, which has qualified to compete at the state level every year and on the world stage twice. Her contributions were instrumental in the team’s award-winning designs and she was selected as one of 35 ambassadors from around the world for the VEX Robotics 2017 World Competition. Lauren is an honors student ranked number one in her sophomore class and has received two Presidential Academic Awards.
Austin Ramsey, 20, ETSU, Sullivan Central High School
At the age of 12, Austin was already a successful entrepreneur owning his own DJ business. He continued to expand his entrepreneurial endeavors, offering high quality droneography services and launching Pointech, LLC, a successful technology consulting company that serves businesses around the region. As part of the National 4H Leadership Team, he conducted award winning geospatial research analyzing health data. Austin is a Roan Scholar and carries a 4.0 GPA amid all of his other endeavors. He is currently attending ETSU pursing a degree in Computer Science with a minor in Business Management.
Luke Reese, 13, Vance Middle School
At only 13 years old, Luke is an aspiring engineer with his sights set on attending MIT. He is already initiating entrepreneurial endeavors offering lawn services to begin building his college fund. He is an award-winning photographer and VEX robotics engineer. Luke serves as a mentor in robotics to elementary students being introduced to the program. He is a TN Stars scholarship recipient and has been accepted to the Duke TIP program due to his high SAT scores as a seventh grader.
McKenzie Templeton, 19, ETSU, Gate City High School
As a high school student, McKenzie founded Stand Up for Down Syndrome, an organization born out of passion and love for educating others about Down Syndrome. She traveled and spoke to students across Virginia and Tennessee and raised thousands of dollars for the National Down Syndrome Society, Special Olympics and Ruby’s Rainbow. These efforts led to her receiving a National Youth Activist Award, becoming the youngest NDSS ambassador ever for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and to her reception of the Tennessee Governor’s Volunteer Star Award. McKenzie is a member of the Roan Scholars Leadership program at ETSU, where she founded a second organization, ABLE, to bring awareness to disabilities on campus.
Anne Tumlin, 18, Dobyns-Bennett High School
Anne excels academically within the top 2% of her class and has been named an AP Scholar with Distinction and a Tennessee/Virginia Scholar. She has been a member of the Dobyns-Bennett High School Marching Band for all four years of high school, marching for two years as a clarinet player and then serving as drum major her junior year and as head drum major her senior year. Anne is involved in her local chapter of First Robotics (FRC) as head programmer and is a member of Mu Alpha Theta. She is an officer of the National Beta Club and a member of Kingsport’s Mayor’s Youth Council.
William Wakely, 18, home-schooled
Will’s passion for science and technology is evident through his extensive resume of accomplishments and experiments. He is an inventor, public speaker, Mini Maker Fair instructor, welder, and volunteer activist. He and his father founded and led an electronics club for students, and he headed up Tech Saturdays at the Bristol Public Library, where he volunteered. Will was the captain of his first FTC Robotics team, leading them to compete on the world stage. He spent more than 640 hours carefully designing and preparing an educational outreach curriculum for robotics and made more than 50 outreach presentations throughout North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
Eliza Wampler, 19, ETSU, Dobyns-Bennett High School
Eliza is in the Honors College at ETSU. She is taking both Biology and Chemistry this year. Graduating from Dobyns-Bennett in 2018 with high honors, Eliza continues to do well academically, making the ETSU Dean’s List. Eliza excels in school, but particularly in math and science, where she earned AP credits in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus. Eliza participated in the SHOUT! Leadership Class, 2015. Eliza has attended the Future Congress of Medical Leaders in Massachusetts, joined Medical Explorers of the Boy Scouts, and shadowed chemists and engineers at Eastman.
Grant Wilkins, 18, Dobyns-Bennett High School
Grant served as an Assistant Scoutmaster in Troop 51 of Boy Scouts of America and is an Eagle Scout. He is the president of his Mu Alpha Theta chapter, the captain of the Science Bowl, and an active member of his Environmental Club. He served as a lead researcher for Pioneer Academics, conducting two original research projects in the field of Computational Quantum Chemistry. Grant attended the Governor’s School for Computational Physics. He is a National Merit Finalist, Presidential Scholarship Candidate, AP National Scholar, and will graduate ranked first in his class.
Jeamy Williams, 18, Dobyns-Bennett High School
Jeamy Williams is currently enrolled in six AP classes, has never missed a day of school, earned a 35 on his ACT and has a GPA of 4.09. In the fall, he will attend Yale University, where he will major in biomedical engineering with a minor in economics and run on the track and field team. Jeamy is involved with numerous academic and athletic organizations. He tutors students in the YMCA after-school program, participates annually with the Special Olympics, and in 2018, he single-handedly maintained the barking lot in downtown Kingsport — a community recruitment and retention asset.
Zoe Young, 10, George Washington Elementary
Zoe, a fourth-grader at George Washington Elementary, is the youngest of five children and the youngest member of this year’s Twenty Under 20 Class. As a lead engineer for her school’s LEGO robotics team, Zoe led her team to a first-place finish in the table mission category. Math is her favorite subject and she is the highest-scoring member for the GWES Math Olympiad team. Zoe is using her love of math and growing her skills through STEM programs, where she is learning to code in the STREAMWORKS drone racing league, enhancing her engineering and robotics skills, and already planning for next year’s robotics team