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Top Of Their Class

Top Of Their ClassThree of Boston Globe's "10 Students Who Made A Difference" will attend Tufts this fall.

Boston [06.04.01] As the academic year comes to a close at high schools around the state, The Boston Globe highlighted the careers of 10 outstanding students who not only excelled in the classroom, but also made an impact on their communities. This year's list, published on Sunday, contains three incoming Tufts freshmen, making the University the only institution represented by more than one student.

All three of the graduating seniors have volunteered large chunks of time to community programs and non-profits. From Boston's Children's Hospital to senior centers to a village in Honduras, these outstanding students made volunteerism a priority.

"It was the best experience of my life," Diana Nemirovsky told the Globe about her work in the Boston's Children's Hospital. The Arlington High School student volunteered 16 hours a week in the neurology unity, which had a major impact on her life.

"Watching children endure life's obstacles with such strength and optimism inspired me," she told the newspaper.

But the senior didn't stop there. While in high school she did everything from volunteer at clothing, food and blood drives to serving Thanksgiving dinners at the Salvation Army.

Nemirovsky even helped raise $400 for breast cancer research.

And, in a couple of years, that research may be conducted by Andover High School graduate Brett Weiner.

The soon-to-be-freshman is already familiar with Tufts and its research capabilities. According to the Globe, "He spent last summer in a Tufts laboratory at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, working with doctors and Ph.D. candidates who were researching angiogenesis, or artery growth."

While he told the Globe that he thought he'd mostly observe the work, the newspaper reported that, by the end of the summer, he was helping with surgeries on pigs.

Among the "academic elite at Andover," Weiner spent his junior year volunteering at a senior center and spent several years working on student drama and musical theatre productions.

Alexandra Granato can relate.

The Concord-Carlisle High School graduate also logged time on the stage. She sang in four musicals, an a capella group as well as a concert at Tanglewood -- the home of the Boston Symphony.

But two weeks in Honduras were the most memorable for her.

Granato and her youth group spent the summer "hauling bricks up a hillside to build a latrine in a village," reported the Globe. "She also helped a center for malnourished children."

The All-Star athlete and mentor told the Globe that the experience was "amazing."

"I used sign language to teach the kids songs," she said. "They performed scenes from Bible stories."

This isn't the first time incoming Tufts freshmen have dominated a list of top students. In April, National Public Radio featured the five best college essays -- two of the five students featured will attend Tufts this fall.

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