STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Jonathan Banks

We were proud to recently unveil the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

Our previous spotlight was on Kaylee Smith from Stillwater, Oklahoma. Now, it's time for Jonathan Banks from Oak Park, Illinois to shine!

For Jonathan, it's all about making people smile. That's one of the reasons he aspires to attend dental school and become an oral surgeon. He was recently recognized as an Illinois State Scholar, an honor given to the top students in the state. However, his most impressive academic achievement may be his perfect 36 score on the ACT!

When it comes to creating smiles, it's not just about dentistry; Jonathan also authors a blog aimed at inspiring young people to live their best lives. 

Read more about Jonathan below in his own words.

Jonathan Banks

Oak Park, IL

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Something you wouldn't know about me is...My family and I have kept a vegan diet for over 6 years! Since we watched the documentary Forks over Knives that taught us about healthy lifestyles, we decided to change the way we eat and live, and it's been great!

For fun, I like to...make music. I have played saxophone for over eight years, and I just love the feeling of playing music. My favorite is jazz, and playing in my school jazz combo is one of my favorite extracurriculars. I also like blogging, and I try to keep my site updated as often as I can with inspirational blog posts. You can find me at www.jbgreatday.com

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...Pythagoras; he seemed to be right about a lot of things.

The best teacher I’ve ever had is...Ooh. That's tough. My teachers have been great for pretty much my entire educational experience, and I credit them for my academic success thus far. I'd have to say one of the classes I enjoyed the most was my sophomore honors chemistry class taught by Ms. Cheryl Rulis. She helped make chemistry fun, and every day in that class I felt my understanding grow. She never failed to challenge and push all of her students so we could learn and grow. 

The last app I downloaded on my phone was..."Really Bad Chess." I saw it in the app store, and I think it's pretty cool. It's a fun spin-off of chess, and I like it because it forces me to think about the game I've played for years in a different way. I recommend!

After high school, my next step is...to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago (Go flames!!). I will study biological sciences and go on to dental school so I can ultimately become an oral surgeon. I like smiles a lot, so I want to go into a profession that revolves around helping people smile easier. 

My greatest dream is...To help as many people as possible, as much as possible. I want to help people smile more.

The thing I like about STEM Premier most is...how it connects students with opportunities that help them grow into the wonderful people we all will soon become. The connections that STEM Premier provide are powerful. 

We hope for the best for you Jonathan! We’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!