Clarice Ruhlin-Hicks

Trust is essential to the formation of a successful, cooperative, and innovative community. Our human relationships are founded on the assurance that we will conduct ourselves with honesty and integrity, and that what we say mirrors what we do. When members of a community believe in one another, they are able to discuss effectively and make critical advancements that will better the general public. In order for this forward progress to continue, trust in businesses is vital. BBB provides the trust that is so necessary for local businesses and communities to flourish.

I recently learned about the meaning behind BBB and was immediately impressed by its mission. BBB’s vision of an ethical marketplace in which educated buyers and trustworthy sellers work together seems like a great idea.

Recently, my family decided to look into the possibility of solarizing our house. We attended an informational meeting designed to educate community members on what solarization entailed: the benefits, costs, and long term effects of making the change to solar energy. ArcticSolar, one of the companies contracted to do this solar work, recently received its BBB accreditation.

The future can be frightening because it is full of unknowns. Arctic Solar has an innovative vision for the future, but in order to realize this idea, they must convince the general public of the benefits of shifting to solar energy. To earn the trust of the community, reliability is necessary. This is where BBB comes in. In my family’s case, we must first be confident that Arctic Solar will provide a trustworthy analysis. When contractors give us an estimate for the cost of solarizing our house or tell us that installing solar panels will provide a certain number of kilowatt hours or assures us that this investment will pay for itself over time, we want to know that their numbers are reliable. In order to make the leap to solar energy, we must put trust in their analysis of whether or not solarization is a good investment. Reliability and trust are especially important in this case because Arctic Solar is proposing the usage of new technology that has not been widely implemented in Alaska. Families such as ours are taking a huge risk by considering the process of solarization, which entails people bolting through our roof into our attic in order to attach the solar panels. This is a daunting possibility, but it is easier to take the risk if you know that Arctic Solar is trustworthy. BBB gives the company the support it needs to succeed in our community and likewise gives our community the assurance it needs to invest in this new opportunity for the future. In this way, the trust that BBB provides allows our community to be successful.

Tell us a little about yourself
I have lived in Alaska my entire life and developed a love for the outdoors. I enjoy camping, hiking, backpacking, and reading. From a young age, I have found great joy in poring over maps, examining guidebooks, and reading of unknown areas. Recently, I have become interested in the forces that move nations, the history behind those driving forces, and the lack of understanding that sometimes seems to accompany them. I am very interested in how international communication, cooperation, and understanding could prevent the possibility of future conflicts. I would love to do service work on an international level. I am fluent in Spanish and English, and I am studying French, so it would also be interesting to do international translating work. In the future, I would love to have the opportunity to join the Peace Corps as well.
List and explain any awards received related to academic achievement
IB Diploma Program Candidate (11th-12th grade): The International Baccalaureate Program is a rigorous two-year program of study, culminating in a series of six exams (graded internationally) in a broad range of subjects, a requirement of participation in Creativity, Action and Service hours, and an in-depth research essay on a topic of the student’s choice. There are currently 23 candidates for this diploma in the Anchorage School District. I expect to complete the diploma program this spring. 
Academic WorldQuest (9th-12th grade): Prepared for and competed in state-level team competition testing knowledge of current international politics, cultures, history, economics, and geography
Poetry Out Loud (10th Grade): School finalist
Model UN (11th grade): Environmental Protection Representative from Cuba
Honor Roll (9th-12th grade)
French and Spanish Seal of Biliteracy: Awarded for biliteracy in Spanish and English; awarded for biliteracy in French and English
Spanish Immersion Student (Kindergarten-12th grade): Educated in a 13-year bilingual program that aims to teach native Spanish-speakers English and native English-speakers Spanish; from kindergarten to sixth grade, half of every instructional day was taught in Spanish and the other half taught in English
World Language Declamation State Championships (Spanish): Poetry Recitation 1st Place 11th Grade; poetry Recitation 2nd Place 10th Grade 
Spanish Immersion 2018 Graduation Emcee: Selected from my class to be the Spanish-speaking emcee for the Spanish Immersion graduation ceremony
Describe at least three school-related extra-curricular activities
National Honor Society (10th-12th grade): Completed 20 hours of service per year
Women of West Club (12th grade): Member of a club that focuses on female empowerment and hosts meaningful discussions and speakers
Interact Club (9th-12th grade): Member of a service club that focuses on international and local issues; participated in various service projects throughout time in this club
Varsity Track and Field (9th-12th grade): Varsity letter every year; state champion, 1600 m relay, 2018; region and state championship qualifier every year
Swim and Dive Team (11th-12th grade): Qualified for region championships both years; awarded the Iron Eagle for competing in every possible event in a single season; completed the Swimathon fundraiser each year (3.5 mile swim)
Cross Country Running (9th grade)
Explain at least one leadership role that you have held
One leadership role I have had is on the track and field team. The 1600 meter relay is my favorite event because of the team aspect; however, our team members often change, bringing different levels of motivation and enthusiasm. My role on the team has been recruiter and cheerleader, bringing in new teammates, making them as excited about the event as I am.
Over the last few years, I helped our team form pre-race traditions, strategies, and training plans. Last year, after five years of competing, our team finally succeeded in our ultimate goal, winning the state meet in our event. I’m proud of my role as leader, bringing our changing group together as a team.
For the past two years, I have been one of the team captains of the track and field team, a position that requires strong dedication to the team. I frequently lead team stretching, warm-ups, and workouts. As a senior, it is my job to be consistent and motivated in order to provide a good example for the rest of the team. I am glad to take on this role and I hope to help those just discovering the sport to feel more comfortable.