Friday, January 22, 2016

Spring Woods High Grad Named to Forbes 30 Under 30 List

Emily Woods, photo courtesy of Berkeley News
A Spring Woods High School graduate remembered as incredibly smart, energetic and determined as a teenager has lived up to her early billing – and then some!

Emily Woods, Class of 2005, was recently named to Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 List of accomplished young adults. Woods, a mechanical engineering graduate of Georgia Tech University, is cited for her work in Kenya with a personal health and hygiene company called Sanivation.
Emily Woods (center, second from top) at the Thespian State Festival in 2004
She designed a method for turning human waste into sustainable fuel and piloted a test project in a Kenya refugee camp. According to Forbes, Woods has raised more than $500,000 in grants to expand Sanivation’s services in the African nation.

The University of California at Berkeley reports that Emily is currently a doctoral student in its Energy and Resources Group, an interdisciplinary graduate program at this highly ranked public university.

Those that recall Emily’s days at Spring Woods High aren’t surprised by either the Forbes award or her early success and accomplishments.

During her Tiger years, Emily was a four-year regional qualifier and an All Region Swim Team member. She competed in the 100 meter butterfly, and was swim team captain her senior year. “She was a vivacious, outgoing and no-fear type of student athlete,” her coach, Lesley Rienstra, recalls. “She had a tremendous work ethic and had character without question. She was truly a gift to coach.”

Emily was one of the few Academic All-American students ever named at her high school, she won Academic All-State honors in her junior and senior years, and was also a National Honor Society member.

A Tiger mascot, she was also involved in Dance Team, Comedy Sportz and Spring Woods Safari Players theater productions, and Tiger TV.

“She was a great student and a wonderful person. I remember her as having a very outgoing personality and always having a smile on her face,” said former Principal Wayne Schaper, Jr.

She is reportedly the third family member to graduate from Spring Woods High. A member of Thespian Troupe 127, she performed and also worked as a production tech member at Spring Woods, including the 2002 premiere of Les Miserables.

She attended several Thespian State Festivals, and two International Thespian Festivals. “As a performer and a technician, she was always filled with energy, ready to work with a positive and kind attitude,” said Terry Hibbert, the theater director at the high school.

“Emily’s success as a young adult seems like the natural path for the young woman we had at Spring Woods,” Hibbert said. “She has always been brilliant, energetic, determined and innovative.”

After graduation, Emily reportedly plunged herself into local sports, club activities, student government and other facets of campus life at Georgia Tech. She followed her passions, and look at her today!


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