Amanda Gordon has been spending her summers immersed in learning opportunities at top universities around the country, from Johns Hopkins to Princeton. A talented writer and creative thinker, she has been especially recognized for her gift in sciences.
The Washington Aerospace Scholars and the Davidson Young Scholars programs are two examples of Gordon’s achievements. She participated in both after a competitive selection process.
“The best part was learning to work with other students,” she said of the Washington Aerospace Scholars’ weeklong residency at the Museum of Flight. “All of us were trying to do various things for different aspects, and we had to coordinate so we were on time and on budget (with the mock mission).”
Gordon hasn’t settled on a career path yet but is considering biomedical sciences or aeronautical engineering.
“Science is one of the subjects that’s been the most influential, but I like all subjects,” she said. “The future is unknown to me.”
Gordon has been described as an individual with a “ferocious, intrinsic appetite for learning” who was curious to learn new things even when she was young. She began to write science-fiction stories when she was 7, and she dreamed of being an author before she developed her passion for science.
“Her tender heart and zest for learning and for life is exciting, rewarding and inspiring,” Gig Harbor High School math teacher Phyllis Payne said. “I believe she makes a difference to those who have the privilege to work beside her, whether it is a parent, student, administrator, teacher or someone in the community.”
Gordon has been involved with several organizations and has volunteered her time with Habitat for Humanity, the Gig Harbor/Peninsula FISH Food Bank and Harbor WildWatch, among others. She enjoys devoting time as a math tutor through Communities in Schools of Peninsula and as a member of Piece County Explorer Search & Rescue team.
“I was looking for extracurricular activities that would help others in the community,” she said. “I like helping and making a difference.”
Gig Harbor High counselor Jennifer Clark said Gordon is a brilliant and unique person.
“Amanda’s academic prowess is overshadowed by her triumph over adversity,” she said. “From being abandoned at birth in a box left in front of an industrial building in China, to being adopted by a Caucasian family in America, Amanda Gordon has lived an incredible journey, and she is not yet finished.”
Category: Science and Technology
Education: Senior, Gig Harbor High School
Parents: Mike and Mikki Gordon
Activities and achievements: Washington Aerospace Scholar, National Merit Scholar finalist, AP Scholar with Honors, Davidson Young Scholar, Princeton University’s Summer Institute for the Gifted, UW Robinson Center for Young Scholars’ grand-level award, National Honor Society, Pierce County Explorers Search & Rescue, Habitat for Humanity, FISH, Harbor WildWatch, Communities in Schools.
Favorite teacher: Phyllis Payne, math, “because she’s a great teacher with a lot of patience.”
Best thing about high school: “The quality of the teachers, who are always willing to answer questions and to go the extra mile for students.”