Millennium High School seniors Savannah Liu and Ken Hollingsworth make acing math portions of college placement exams seem easy.
The students said they studied for a short time prior to the exams, yet Liu achieved a perfect score on the ACT’s math section, and Hollingsworth aced the SAT’s math portion.
“I took practice tests to get ready,” said Hollingsworth, who took advanced classes as well.
“A lot of people don’t like math. I think it’s a lot of fun. If you ask 100 people the same reading question, you can get 100 different answers. Math is definitive. There’s one answer, and everyone around the world should answer the same.”
Born in Germany to an American military father and a Japanese mother, Hollingsworth said he’s always learning. He lived in Texas, Italy and Japan before moving to Arizona, where his father retired.
“It was good to see all the different cultures,” he said. “It taught me a lot.”
Hollingsworth is one of the drum majors for Millennium’s marching band. Inducted into the National Honor Society junior year, Hollingsworth plays a slew of instruments including alto saxophone, baritone saxophone and mellophone.
“To be a drum major, you have to be incredibly dedicated and passionate,” he said. “We’re always trying to be in service to other people. If someone has a problem, you want them to come to you.
“I like to think I’m approachable. I always stay on the positive side. I think the full band’s energy builds up my energy. It’s a great feeling.”
Hollingsworth is unsure which university he’ll attend. He just wants a good education.
“I’ll go anywhere that can provide that,” said Hollingsworth, who wants to study engineering. “I want to attend a school that’s a good fit for me.”
Liu said she’s satisfied with her efforts on the ACT. Like Hollingsworth, she’s hoping to study engineering, although she, too, is unsure which college she will attend.
“I’m really interested in technology like artificial intelligence,” she said. “That’s what I want to do in the future.”
Born and raised in China until she was 12, Liu is fluent in Mandarin and is studying Spanish and Japanese. She and Hollingsworth actively volunteer in the community. Liu is also involved with Key Club, National Honor Society and Science Olympiad. She has distributed food and other materials to veterans and their families on Veterans Day, and shops for toys for children in need.
“I found it really meaningful,” Liu said about volunteering. “I’ve been volunteering since I was a freshman.”