Full STEAM ahead for one TCA Senior

Brianna Ryckman – Student Spotlight

At first glance, Brianna Ryckman appears to be an average high school senior, but take one look at her academic record and it is clear that she is anything but average! So far, she has the highest GPA in the Class of 2021 with A’s in every course she has attempted. She is in a position to earn her Associate of Arts degree from FSCJ just a couple of weeks before graduating high school, and has a long, impressive list of college applications. We had the privilege of sitting down to talk with her to find out more information about how she attained this academic success and what she is looking toward in the future.

Brianna says that her love of learning and focus on education come naturally from her family. Her parents are her biggest fans and she has also been inspired by her grandfather who was a college professor. Although she finds physical sciences and math easier to learn, she has to work harder for her high marks in the biological sciences and humanities. One strategy that has helped her be successful is setting a “personal” due date for assignments and projects that is three days ahead of the assigned due date.

When asked how she first became interested in STEAM fields of study, Brianna credits a trip to the Kennedy Space Center during elementary school. That trip spurred her to attend Space Camp three different times to learn more about technology and science. Brianna wants to continue studying Computer Sciences in college at her dream school MIT—Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She says that she is drawn to the computer field because it is always dynamically changing and developing. If she is accepted to MIT, then she would be able to attend a renowned university with students who have similar interests and achievements.

Brianna has been a valuable member of TCA’s Brain Bowl team. When she isn’t working on academics, she enjoys reading and playing board games. She says that she is looking forward to college, but will miss her friends from TCA. One thing she won’t miss if she moves out of state for college is seasonal allergies!

Her advice for other students seeking academic success is simple,

“Find a field that you love and focus on it.”

We are so glad to have Brianna as a member of the Class of 2021 and are excited to see what the future holds for her.


  • Brianna, congratulations on your academic successes! You are truly an amazing student and person.
    Good luck with your college admissions!

    Thomas Chiles
    Michael E. and Salvatore A. DeLuca Professor of Biology
    Vice Provost for Research and Academic Planning
    Boston College
    Chestnut Hill, Ma 02467
    TCA class ’78


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