CANNON FALLS -- Brianna Johnston, a busy senior at Cannon Falls High School, is an award-winning Girl Scout, student athlete and singer. 

“My life is pretty busy as I balance school, sports and working at the local Mexican restaurant throughout the year,” Johnston said. “However, I truly enjoy the excitement of it.” 

Johnston has an older brother, Tyler, and lives with her mom in the Cannon Falls area.

“Growing up it was just my brother, mom, me and still is today,” Johnston said. “My parents got divorced while I was still young so I did not get to see my father as much as some of my peers. With that being said, I would not change a thing. I got to enjoy the moments I did spend with him and cherish them greatly.”

Over 10 years ago, Johnston joined her local Girl Scout troop and has loved every second of it.

“In fifth grade for their Bronze Award, Brianna and two other girls persuaded Mr. Bell, elementary school principal at the time, to allow them to construct the gaga pit at Cannon Falls Elementary School, and then convinced her uncles to help with the building process,” Kathy Tilderquist, retired teacher and Girl Scout troop leader, said. “Many students at the elementary school have enjoyed playing in the gaga pit over the last seven years.”

Toward the end of grade 8, Johnston was awarded Scouting’s Silver Medal after putting on an overnight tent event to show younger girls that enjoying nature is more fun than playing on electronics, Tilderquist added.

“I have enjoyed learning new skills, gaining leadership experience, and helping younger girls find joy in using tools and become more comfortable trying new things,” Johnston said.

During high school, Johnston has been involved in volleyball, track, the Minnesota Honor Society, student council, Students Against Destructive Decisions, jazz choir and student tutoring.

“When anyone asks for a volunteer, Brianna is the first one to raise her hand and ask, how can I help,” Kirsten Hoffman, counselor at Cannon Falls High School, said. “When I needed an after school tutor, Brianna was there -- she had to juggle her work schedule, sports practice, and other activity meetings around it, but she was still the first one to volunteer to help someone.”

This can be attributed to the fact that Johnston loves making new friends, helping others and having another family to go to at school and different activities.

“I like the feeling of just being involved with people who have an alike mindset and have similar goals,” Johnston said.

Johnston added that she is grateful that she was able to continue her activities and return to in-person learning, because at one point she wondered if she would ever going to step foot in the high school again due to COVID-19.

Now as she looks back on her educational career, she can’t help but think of all the happy memories.

“I will definitely miss the teachers and all of the friends I have made during my time as a Cannon Falls student,” Johnston said.

After graduation, Johnston will attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to study neuroscience on the pre-med track.

“I have always been fascinated with the brain and why we think the way we do and feel the way we feel so I knew picking a major that would deal with the brain was the dream for me,” Johnston said.

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