Benjamin Long has a long list of achievements that reflect his broad interests. Ranked No. 1 academically, he is an Eagle Scout who has dedicated hundreds of hours to community service through the Boy Scouts and Interact Club. He is also a musician, an athlete and a leader at school and in the community.
Long said his parents and other mentors have inspired him to do community service when he was young.
He has been involved with the Boy Scouts for seven years and prior to that was a Cub Scout since first grade. He has volunteered for projects such as the Courage Bike Classic, Relay for Life, food drives and clean-ups.
“Ben has tremendous integrity and a complete set of life skills,” said his scoutmaster, Clifford Uehlin. “He has the endurance and fortitude that ensures success, no matter what challenge he faces.”
For his Eagle Scout project, he organized the planting of maple trees at Sehmel Homestead Park.
He considers his Eagle Scout rank the highest achievement of his high school career.
“It was a big-time commitment but also a gateway to a more mature outlook. I was able to apply it to sports, music and academics,” he said.
Music has been a big part of his life. A classical guitar and trumpet player, Long has been part of the school’s jazz ensemble and wind symphony. He says music is special to him because it allows him to express his emotions in a healthy way.
“It’s a good outlet for me socially and emotionally, and there’s a great sense of community,” he said of his involvement with the bands.
As a soccer player, Long has been described by his coach, Todd Northstrom, as one of the hardest workers in the field.
“(His) effort has not only been recognized by me, but also other coaches within the league we play,” Northstrom said.
Long said he maintains a disciplined schedule in order to succeed academically.
“My parents have always been disciplined in their lifestyle, and that has provided me opportunities,” he said.
He plans to continue his musical career in college, perhaps in the marching band, while studying mechanical engineering. The University of Washington and Purdue University are his top choices. One of his career interests lies in renewable energy such as wind.
“In the engineering field, there’s such great opportunity to help others,” he said. “I see a lot of growth in renewable energy.”