Business & Entrepreneurship - Presented by BBVA Compass
Jaylen, a Pennsylvania resident of Dominican descent, is pursuing a career that takes two of his biggest interests – business and sports – and incorporates them into one: sports management. He has focused considerable effort throughout his high school career towards acquiring fundamental knowledge and the skills necessary for him to prosper in the field, beginning with an Exploratory Business course and continuing with courses in Business, Personal Law and Financial Literacy during his junior year. He will complete five business-related courses during his senior year alone, including AP Economics, International Business and Sports, and Entertainment Marketing. Besides being inducted into the National Honor Society, Jaylen won first place in the Business Law category at his regional Future Business Leaders of America competition. He has also participated in Columbia University’s Sports Industry Essentials Program and in the Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week, an award-winning intensive program that brings some of Pennsylvania's brightest students together with some of the state’s business leaders and educates them about the nation’s free enterprise system. Jaylen is also dedicated to giving back to his community. Among his service contributions is his participation as a volunteer at his local food pantry as well as for Walk A Mile in Her Shoes, an annual event held worldwide to raise awareness about gender violence. “The primary inspiration behind my devotion to [my] community is the understanding that aiding others can have a profound influence on [them] as well as myself,” he shares. Jaylen is also an accomplished student athlete, earning letters for football during all four years, and spending two years in the track and field team, and additional year in the indoor track and field team. He ties his love for community and sports by volunteering at the FCA sports Camp, where he mentors local kids in various sports and activities. Jaylen, who maintains a 4.0 GPA, plans on studying Business Administration at High Point University, Lehigh University, or at the University of Richmond.
Community Service - Presented by Colgate-Palmolive
By the end of her first year in high school, Claudia knew one thing for certain: she wants to be a cardiothoracic surgeon. Her first hands-on exposure to healthcare was at the Northeast Ohio Research Education Medicine Alliance Internship Program at the Cleveland Clinic, where she was introduced to tissue engineering. This is where she became fascinated with biomedical studies. She recently completed a three-year long research on affordable medical devices where she engineered her own biodegradable artificial blood vessels. According to testing, Claudia’s engineered blood vessel is superior to similar products currently on the market. As such, and based on strong recommendations from her advisers, she filed a patent under her name with the United States Patent Office, has published numerous publications, and won scientific accolades ranging from Intel ISEF to the Regeneron Science Talent Search. Claudia’s immigrant parents who came to the United States with almost no means, worked extremely hard and raised her to understand the importance of the community service and giving back to where you come from. Although Claudia has been involved in many community service activities, she’s come to realize the disparity in education and recognize the privileges that she’s had in the United States and the lack of thereof for children in underdeveloped countries. Last year, Claudia founded a nonprofit organization, called “STEMM Education Without Borders” (stemmeducation.org). The mission of this nonprofit organization is to improve STEMM education for underserved youth groups and communities around the world. In June 2018, as the inaugural event for her nonprofit organization, she started an international cardiovascular campaign called Cuida tu Corazón or Care for Your Heart to emphasize the importance of healthy hearts in her mother’s home town of Xalapa, Veracruz - Mexico. She was able to work with a school’s entire student body to teach them about hearts and cardiovascular disease. She plans to continue similar activities in other underserved communities in the US and around the world every year. Claudia has applied to Harvard University, Yale University and the University of Chicago, where she plans on studying Pre-medicine and Public Health.
Education - Presented by Southwest Airlines
Belen believes that “education empowers individuals to have a better future and is key to a better world.” And yet, in today’s world, about 264 million children do not have access to education. It is, therefore, her desire to help make education accessible for as many children as possible. In fact, her endeavors have begun, as she has already started a non-profit organization called POWER (Providing Orphans and Widows Education and Resources). Apart from her own organization, Belen is the president of the Spanish National Honor Society and a member of the National Honor Society, National Beta Club, National Technical Honor Society, and Family, Career and Community leaders of America. For the past two years, she has been an officer of the Speech and Debate Club at her school, participating at various tournaments. To prepare for her continued education, she has participated in the Teaching as a Profession Career Pathway at her high school and is currently completing an internship at Big Creek Elementary School as a third-grade student teacher. Belen has been awarded with the certificate of Merit by the State of Georgia and University of Georgia, as well as the seal of biliteracy, international skills diploma seal, and AP Scholar with distinction. Belen credits her grandparents as being a major source of inspiration and for teaching her the value of serving others. Alongside them, she has provided meals to homeless people in the streets of Argentina and helped direct a soccer program for children living in a slum in Buenos Aires. In addition to her impressive service achievements, she also maintains a 4.0 GPA and hopes to study Political Science with a Minor in Spanish at the University of Georgia, the University of North Carolina, or Vanderbilt University.
Healthcare & Science - Presented by CVS Health
Carol credits her mother as the biggest inspiration behind her decision to pursue a career in the medical field. Her mother was one of the only OBGYN surgeons in her home country of Peru, when she made the decision to leave her career behind to bestow more opportunities upon Carol and her siblings in the United States. Her mother’s sacrifice along with her own desire to help others, empowered Carol to apply to her school’s Medical Academy in 8th grade. This academy provided her with the rigor needed to work towards her objective of becoming a pediatric heart surgeon. During her freshman year in high school, Carol was nominated to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum: Ten Day Advanced Medicine and Health Care Program at Johns Hopkins University. There, she had the opportunity to meet medical professionals, participate in mock doctor's appointments, learn how to perform CPR, and learn how to act in the event of a medical emergency. She later joined her school’s HOSA club and worked towards attending her state’s Leadership Conference, despite facing financial barriers. She was the Maternal Neonatal Tetanus and Pediatric Trauma Program Coordinator for her entire division, which consisted of 11 schools. She has volunteered at a Kaiser Permanente Hospital for more than 400 hours, where she has fought and been an advocate for the fair treatment of Spanish-speaking patients. “My every success is in the pursuit for the betterment of not only myself, but also of my Latinx community” says Carol. She has demonstrated this by establishing the Hispanic Scholars Club at her school, with the purpose of creating a support system that was not accessible to her throughout her four years of high school. Carol founded the American Chemical Society’s Chem Club at her school and will be creating a science fair for elementary school children, allowing them to learn more about STEM at a younger age. In addition, she re-founded the Intersectional Feminist Club at her school, through which she has been fighting for the rights of Central Americans seeking asylum, the MeToo movement, and for Planned Parenthood. Her goal is to create a more inclusive community for people of color and the LGBTQIA+ community. With an impressive host of awards and recognitions and a schedule full of AP and Honors courses, Carol plans on attending Stanford University, Princeton University, or Harvard, where she hopes to study Neuroscience or Chemistry and Political Science or Economics with a minor in Latino Studies.
Media & Entertainment - Presented by Comcast|NBCUniversal|Telemundo
Alejandra’s parents, who were both journalists back in Venezuela, encouraged her to frequently read and write both in English and Spanish. Thanks to their influence, she discovered her passion for writing and for uncovering truths at a young age. Last summer, she took part in a Pre-College Media Journalism program at Harvard. She enrolled in “Media Journalism: Ethics and Aesthetics, Race and Politics,” a course that “challenges students to critically assess writing—from the early twentieth-century until the present—about media forms, texts, and artifacts, published on a variety of media platforms.” Upon her return to school from the program, she worked with her journalism teacher to start a school newspaper. Currently editor of the paper, she provides writing advice and works to make sure that its content is impactful and organized. Alejandra was invited to write an article about her school’s new cell-phone policy, which was then published in the Guest Editorial section of The News-Press, the most prestigious newspaper in South West Florida. She also completed a 6-month internship at Univision Southwest Florida, where she learned about and participated in the production of the D'Latinos news-show. It also gave her the opportunity to spend time with several anchors, all of who introduced her to the mechanics of broadcast journalism. Through Key Club, of which she was President, she participated in creating projects to help her community since her freshman year. For Alejandra, community service teaches us to help others and it gives the opportunity for us to learn to help ourselves. “We can learn things from it that we cannot learn in any other way,” she says. Alejandra has recently begun a new community-service project, which is to educate adolescents and young adults about anti-money-laundering, counter-financing terrorism, and preventing cyber fraud. Alejandra plans on creating free short videos in both Spanish and English to teach teenagers how to identify suspicious activities and avoid being involved in criminal schemes. With a 4.0 GPA, hopes to study Journalism/Media Studies and Foreign Languages at Princeton University, Brown University, or Harvard University.
Technology & Engineering - Presented by Google
For students like Gabriela Rojas, who tend to excel, making mistakes can be stressful. However, in eight-grade, when she and her classmates used Alice – a block-based programming environment – to create a simple game, she found the freedom to make mistakes liberating. Through trial-and-error, they devised means of building something creative, and the experience presented a new path that she was desperate to explore. Since then, Gabriela has explored web development, robot software, game development, and animation. During her sophomore year of high school, she joined her school’s robotics team – the SuperNURDS – and was placed in the software department. To supplement her interest, she also enrolled in Computer Science courses at her high school, and a Hardware Fundamentals class at a local community college. Gabriela also recognizes the value of supporting one’s community and sees technology and coding as an ideal means of solving many of the problems facing society. As part of an after-school program, she and her friends designed an interactive game that informs users about Ecolife, an organization that focuses on saving the endangered monarch butterfly and making fuel-efficient stoves for safe cooking. Gabriela recognizes that her chosen career path is often lacking in representation for women of color. She hopes that by pursuing a STEM path she can outshine and overcome the gender and societal norms that have been placed on many in the field, contributing to society and building a foundation for future generations to come. By trailblazing the path, she hopes that future generations of girls will be able to see that “success is not just a dream, but a reality”. Gabriela maintains a 3.82 GPA, and, with a range of AP classes and achievements, she hopes to study Computer Science and Business at the University of California, San Diego, California State University of San Marcos, or at the University of California, Los Angeles.