Green Bay Southwest's Erin Huffer, shown inside the music room at Southwest High School on Thursday, May 2, 2013, is a Green Bay Press-Gazette 2013 Academic Team member. Huffer will be attending college at Dartmouth College next year. / Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media
Green Bay Southwest
Thomas and Janine Huffer
AP: U.S. history, calculus AB, calculus BC, language and composition, macroeconomics, psychology, physics, literature and composition.
St. Norbert College courses philosophy of human nature and survey of African history
35 composite ACT
National Merit finalist
President’s Award for Community Service
AP Scholar with Distinction
Solo and Ensemble, exemplary soloist
Second Team All Conference Girls’ Soccer
Varsity soccer, captain
National Honor Society, blood drive coordinator
Marching band, drum major
Musical theater, pit orchestra
In the Community
Math Counts, coach
American Red Cross blood drive
Erin has earned a 4.0 GPA, having taken almost every Advanced Placement class offered at Southwest and courses at St. Norbert College. It is evident she truly enjoys learning for learning’s sake and has demonstrated the ability to work independently. Erin’s work ethic and desire to thoroughly understand a concept is not something always seen in a high school senior. — Veronica Dushek, mathematics teacher
In addition to her academic excellence, Erin involves herself in an array of extracurricular and community activities: soccer, tennis, Link Crew, National Honor Society, Jazz Band, school musicals and competitive academic teams. She also volunteers at the Botanical Gardens and middle school. Erin has excellent leadership and organizational skills and extremely high personal standards. — Ryan Freude, pre-engineering instructor
Who do you emulate and why?
A naked, coffee-skinned child, ribs protruding, clutches at his mother’s legs. She draws him to her, ignoring that stains his bloodied feet leave on her skirt. A pregnant woman with sunken cheeks and fearful eyes cradles her protruding abdomen as though its unsupported weight will send her stick-thin frame toppling to the ground. These images should render us speechless with horror, but advertisements and social media have immunized us to their power. Rather than fall silent at the sight of a starving child, we buy shirts condemning Joseph Kony or scurry off to purchase a pair of TOMS. We feel as though we can do our part to combat famine and poverty by throwing a few dollars to charity without investing our time, energy or passion. However, there are people who delve into the deepest problems of the world. Last summer I met a man who transformed my perspective on poverty, charity and the power of a single person.
I met George Mavroudis, a Cretan safari guide with a posh British accent, on my family’s once-in-a-lifetime trip to Tanzania last summer. My aunt Joan and her husband, Rob, are avid travelers who have visited Africa half a dozen times. George has traveled with Joan and Rob on many of these adventures and was their safari guide on their first trip to Tanzania. The summer before my junior year in high school, Joan and Rob decided to broaden their experience, so they invited my dad’s and his brother’s families to share their adventure with George as our guide. In the two weeks I spent with George, I saw the impact one person can have on the world.
George’s work is intricately entwined with the local people of Tanzania. Though he was born in Crete, George grew up in Tanzania in a relatively affluent family. Rather than separate himself from the local community, he immersed himself in culture, becoming fluent in Swahili and proficient in several other African dialects. He attended boarding school in Great Britain, then returned to Tanzania, assembled a team of locals, and started an independent safari company. His respect for nature, guests and local tribes built his reputation and his business thrived.
Eventually he decided to broaden his impact as a humanitarian. His most recent project is the founding and managing of the Manyara Ranch Conservancy, a philanthropic tourist destination in Tanzania. All the proceeds from the luxurious tented camp help build the infrastructure of local communities. The money does not patch the wounds of famine with cheap food and textiles; George’s company cleanses and revives from the inside out.
My conversations with George last summer and the research I still do on his work have given me a new perspective on my value as a person. George Mavroudis has taken every opportunity to funnel his passions — love of nature, respect for animals, empathy for humanity and awe of culture — into positive world change. He protects nature, he helps others help themselves and he inspires everyone he meets to preserve the world’s beauty. Because of his example, I have resolved to devote part of my life to service work, perhaps with the Peace Corps or a collegiate study-abroad program. But George’s message extends deeper. If I can find passion, pursue it and communicate it, I too can make a difference in the future of the world.