Class Act: Hillcrest senior wins SAP Innovator of the Year award

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DALLAS — They say necessity is the mother of invention. When Jewell Sterling saw a need, she found a solution that made a big impact, and it’s what makes her our Class Act of the Week.

Jewell is a senior at Hillcrest High School in Dallas and she’s earned a huge honor in being named the SAP Social Innovator of the Year. The German software company bestowed the honor based on Jewell’s idea for special breakfast carts providing good nutrition in the halls of her school.

“We basically want to bring back breakfast carts to help serve breakfast to students in the morning so that we don’t skip breakfast or go without eating for the rest of the day,” explained Jewell. Because a lot of kids skip lunch. It’s not good to not eat.”

SAP is a German software company whose acronym stands for ‘Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte in der Datenverarbeitung,’ translating in English as ‘Systems, Applications & Products in Data Processing.’ They strive to celebrate the people and technologies that drive innovation, and Jewell showed them how it’s done.

In a special ceremony, Dallas Cowboy Travis Frederick presented her with a special trip to New York to meet with Daymond John, one of the stars of Shark Tank. She’ll get a chance to learn about being an innovator and entrepreneur, something she’s already pretty good at.

“She’s one of the few kids that will definite just take the bull by the horns and run and get the project done,” said Diane Combs, a teacher in the school’s engineering department. “She had no problem presenting on her own. She’s very comfortable really presenting off the cuff; it’s not a problem for her.”

But after high school, she’s setting her sights in a very different direction. Family trips to the Johnson Space Center and the McDonald Observatory have inspired her to go into astronomy.

“That was life-changing because you look up and there’s the Milky Way right in front of you. It’s amazing,” Jewell said. “I just want to learn more about why is it like that, how does our universe work, how do the planets, the stars, work?”

So yeah, from the halls of her school to a thousand light years away, Jewell is setting out to solve problems, from breakfast carts to our universe.
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