Acceptance into a major college or university is one accomplishment. But to be accepted into an Ivy League university is another matter entirely. For Brookfield High School senior Taylor Wallace, a letter of acceptance to Columbia University in New York City is a first step into a much bigger world than here in Linn County.

Acceptance into a major college or university is one accomplishment. But to be accepted into an Ivy League university is another matter entirely. For Brookfield High School senior Taylor Wallace, a letter of acceptance to Columbia University in New York City is a first step into a much bigger world than here in Linn County.
“It is a huge honor, not only for myself, but for my family and all the other people who helped me achieve this goal,” said Wallace. “I didn't even know that I would be the first student in BHS history to attend an Ivy League school until after I was accepted. Everyone who has been there for me along the way was overjoyed to hear the news, even people who had no idea I was trying to go to Columbia sent their congratulations. I would like to thank them all, especially the people who pushed me to be my very best. If it weren't for them, no way would I have gotten in.”
That's right, Taylor Wallace is the first Brookfield High School graduate to attend an Ivy League university. Wallace is a two-sport athlete at BHS, participating in football and track. Wallace is also involved in many activities, including Scholar's Bowl, the school play, and Student Council.
“I have learned that extra-curricular activities are a very important aspect not only in having a great time in high school, but also in applying to colleges and for scholarships,” said Wallace. “The acceptance committees love a well-rounded student.”
Wallace continued: “I have balanced my work with my play but usually put my academics first. If an activity required me to take necessary time away from my studies, I made the decision to drop it. It's important to always keep academia in the front of ones mind ahead of everything else. It's great to have other activities, but everyone has a limit of how much they can handle.”
Wallace, despite being so involved and busy, followed the advice of a BHS teacher who guided his first steps toward the upper eschelons of academia.
“I just followed the advice that Mr. Swift, my Gifted English teacher, gave me my freshman year,” began Wallace. “He told me not to worry about being the best at everything and said, ‘Just be sure to do your best at everything you do. You have to stay dedicated to your studies throughout your high school career and everything will work out in your favor.’ Even after his tragic passing that very year, I think it's safe to say that everything has turned out pretty good.”
Wallace is hoping to add the title of Doctor to his name, after his studies are completed. “I plan to get a biology or biomedical degree to prepare me for medical school,” said Wallace. “I also hope to continue my course of study into Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons and then serve a surgical residency in NYC, eventually specializing in cardiothoracic surgery.”
Taylor Wallace is excited about heading to the Big Apple. It is hard to believe that a small-town kid from Brookfield could handle such a change, but Wallace is excited at that very prospect.
“I am ecstatic to be able to have the opportunity to study in the greatest city in the world,” concluded Wallace. “It will be a huge culture shock, going from a town of 4,500 people to a metropolis of 9,000,000, but I'm beyond anxious to go. There are so many cultures and new experiences there for me to take in, and I am excited to have the chance at experiencing them.”