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  Freshman Sampler

Straight A's? Been there. Class valedictorian? Done that. Seems like being at the top of your class just isn't enough these days. Take the freshman class. Incoming students have started businesses, opened charities, and published novels. And that's just the start.
Photo by Sam Kittner

Left to right: Dylan Diggs, a Writing Sems student from Mt. Airy, Maryland, was inspired by the events of 9/11 to write his first novel, The Palladium (Sights Productions, 2003). Set 150 years in the future, it's a thriller about two anti-terrorism agents investigating a senator's disappearance.

Jonathan Goldstein, a political science student and ROTC cadet from Dallas, Texas, starting cooking when he was a kid. By 15, he had turned a talent for making gourmet pizzas into his own catering business.

Computer science student Ayse Sabuncu was the only female on the 10-person Nike freestyle team (think Harlem Globetrotters) in her native Istanbul, Turkey. She performed her routine on television and at Nike store openings around the country.

Paul Eliasson started crafting guitars in his basement when he was in the eighth grade; to date, he's built and sold 15 electric and 10 acoustic guitars. The Columbia, Maryland, native is studying public health.

Originally from New Haven, Connecticut, Sam Anderson moved with his family to Montana six years ago to help run the family ranch. He spent last summer irrigating meadows, fixing fences, and moving cows across the 2,000-acre ranch.

While living in Singapore, Claire Chun and some friends founded Musicweed, a music festival to benefit several causes, including Afghan refugees. Her next project, the Peace CD Project, featured original recordings by youth from around the world.

When Patrick Meaney discovered that underused library books in his hometown of San Diego, California, were going to be discarded, he decided they should be read instead. So he created the San Diego Book Project, collecting more than 26,000 books and distributing them to retirement homes, orphanages, schools, and charitable organizations.
— Catherine Pierre

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