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. Earlier this year, 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, who maintains a 4.0 GPA, plans on studying Business Administration at Case Western Reserve University, High Point University or at Fordham University.
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. Looking at a fraction of all she has accomplished in her mere seventeen years, it is clear that she has worked to achieve this goal tirelessly. 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 two-year long research on biodegradable artificial blood vessels, where she engineered her own biodegradable artificial blood vessel. Biodegradable artificial blood vessels have the ability of helping patients who suffer from cardiovascular disease. 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 advisors, she filed a patent under her name with the United States Patent Office. Claudia has undertaken a project she plans on internationally establishing across nations, in an effort to reduce the disparity in STEMM education from country to country. She launched this project in her mother’s hometown of Xalapa, Mexico where she teamed up with a local school to promote STEMM education. She took it a step further this June, when she traveled back to Mexico to set in motion an international cardiovascular campaign called Cuida tu Corazón, or Care for your Heart, to emphasize the importance of healthy hearts. Upon returning from Mexico, not yet satisfied with her work, Claudia founded a non-profit organization called “STEMM Education Without Borders,” with the mission of improving STEMM education for underrepresented and impoverished communities across the globe. Claudia will be applying to Harvard College, Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She plans on studying Biomedical Engineering 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 also involved with volunteering at a Pre-K Sunday school as an assistant teacher, and is a member of the Spanish Honor Society, National Honor Society, National Beta Club, and Meals by Grace. To prepare for her continued education, she has participated in the Teaching as a Profession Career Pathway at her high school, and during the second semester of her current senior year, she will be completing an internship at Big Creek Elementary School as a student teacher. 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, Emory University, 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 Convention, despite facing financial barriers. She has volunteered at a Kaiser Permanente Hospital near her home, 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. Her club is dedicated to supporting Hispanic youth by mentoring them throughout their high school career, taking them to campus tours across California, and supporting them financially with scholarships she has created in order to ensure their academic success. 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 the University of California – Berkeley 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.” And to “explore how successful media journalists address topical media hot spots, especially regarding complex social issues like race and politics.” Upon her return to school from the program, she worked with her journalism teacher to start a school newspaper. Currently editor the paper, she provides writing advice and works to make sure that its content is impactful and organized. She also completed a 6-month internship at Univision Southwest Florida, where she learned about and participated in the production of D'Latinos. 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 is current President, she has 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. Her skillset extends beyond her journalism abilities and her work in service into every aspect of her high school career. With a 4.0 GPA, she plans on majoring in Journalism and Communications at Brown University, New York University, or at Georgetown 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.