Exemplary Eagle: High School Senior Ingerlis A.

The Graded Gazette

As a second-grader, Ingerlis A. was told by a teacher at another school that she lacked a "math mind." The teacher assured her this was normal, as "boys usually do math."

Others may have given up but not Ingerlis. Encouraged by her parents, she started studying math outside of the classroom.

“I started noticing patterns in everyday life, and I really fell in love with math,” she said. 

At Graded, Ingerlis has excelled in STEM subjects. When selecting courses for junior year, she realized that pursuing the full IB diploma would prevent her from taking the classes that she valued most. Ingerlis opted for a less conventional path. Instead of completing the full IB Diploma Program, she prioritized STEM courses by enrolling in four HL IB Courses: Physics, Computer Science, Psychology, and Math AA. She rounded out her schedule with SL English and Portuguese and completed the Extended Essay.

"Ingerlis is a risk-taker with grit,” said Director of College Counseling Janan Sabeh. “She goes against the norm in pursuit of her passions time and time again, demonstrating a maturity and strong sense of self that is rare to see in high schoolers."

In addition to her Graded coursework, Ingerlis took online classes and participated in summer programs abroad, including the Stanford University Mathematics Camp (SuMAC). These experiences led her to find her niche within the math world—computational neuroscience.

“One of the most interesting applications that I have found thus far is understanding models of the human brain,” she said. “How can we recreate those in computers using mathematical algorithms to understand how thought processes work?”

Beyond academics, Ingerlis has also explored other areas of interest through clubs and activities. She has been an Astronomy Club, Debate Team, Math Club, and Graded MUN leader, a GMT Tutor, and a member of Badminton Club. 

What she loves most about Graded is the multicultural environment and the sense of belonging that the school fosters. “My parents are European—my mom is Greek, and my dad is Danish. That mix of cultures helped me see different perspectives and grow in an environment where I wasn't afraid of being myself,” she said. “I feel Brazilian. I feel connected to the country I live and was raised in.”

Looking ahead, Ingerlis will continue to pursue her interest in computational neuroscience at university, where she hopes to explore concepts like machine learning and artificial intelligence. With acceptances to top universities in the United States, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and NYU, Ingerlis has proven to herself that she, too, can "do" math.