CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Whether it’s on the court or field, behind the espresso machine or at her internship, one Pine Lake Preparatory high schooler is proving she’s a teen of many talents.

But when she’s asked what makes her special, she said she’s a normal teen, just trying to make the world a better place.

What You Need To Know

  • Ella Wilkinson loves to play basketball, softball and lacrosse, and when she's not on the field or court, she's focusing on her studies

  • Wilkinson wants to attend Virgina Tech in the fall and study industrial design

  • State Sen. Vickie Sawyer presented Wilkinson with the Spectrum High School Scholar Award

  • Wilkinson was awarded $1,000 to put toward her college education

Ella Wilkinson was nominated by her guidance counselor as a Spectrum News 1 High School Scholar. She was awarded $1,000 to use toward her college education. Her recognition caught the eye of state Sen. Vickie Sawyer, who presented her with the award.

Wilkinson hopes to attend Virginia Tech in the fall.

Basketball, like many sports, is one that requires teamwork.

Wilkinson applies the mentality she has on the court in her personal life.

"I think just getting to talk one-on-one and understand what someone's going through. Just like how in sports how you have to know your teammates well, I'm going to have to do that in my future career," Wilkinson said.

When she’s not playing lacrosse, softball or basketball, she’s focusing on her next path in life, which is industrial design.

"I think every job needs to have a purpose, and so my purpose is helping others while incorporating other parts like the environment and just making sure that people are being able to get the products that they need," Wilkinson said.

When she’s not focusing on sustainability, she’s serving up lattes at Starbucks, all while excelling academically and in her social life.

"My friends would probably say I'm creative and definitely driven. I care a lot about what I do and like to do it well," Wilkinson said.

As she prepares to leave high school behind, she wants to do it with a legacy.

"When I leave Pine Lake, I hope that I can inspire others to kind of be able to do it... all sports, social life and getting good grades and focusing on school because that's really important to me, and that's what I have used to help me want to follow my dreams and creating my own sustainable products," said Wilkinson.