Lauren Krawczynski, a junior attending South Texas Independent School District (STISD) Science Academy in Mercedes, traveled the state and nation this summer to participate in not one – but two – prestigious learning experiences.
Interested in exploring the government sector and associated careers, she decided to “take her shot,” and applied through the international application for the Yuma Center’s Washington Week, a leadership program developed for girls interested in making a global impact. She was accepted, and made the trip as the sole representative from the state in this year’s cohort.
According to the Yuma Center, through Washington Week, young women who are rising 10-12th graders can take part in one of two one-week long conferences focused on Domestic or Global Affairs. These conferences feature seminars, private meetings, and behind-the-scenes discussions with individuals working in some of our nation’s greatest institutions.
Through the conference, students experience/learn:
- the value of work well done
- the importance of ethical leadership and character in public service
- the joy that comes from integrating a career with family, faith and the desire to serve society
- personal exposure to the professional and political culture of Washington, D.C.
- a chance to envision themselves working in a government agency, an embassy, the Supreme Court or the Pentagon
While in Washington, Krawczynski met with leaders in position at the White House, FBI, World Bank, and the Pentagon, and listened as they explained what they do now and how they got there. A common theme shared with attendees was being open to exploring different options for life and career. The leaders talked about how their plans for higher education and career changed over time, stressing that it is normal to not know right away exactly what you want to do in the future. The insight she gained into the government spectrum has inspired her to continue looking into these types of career opportunities as she goes through the remainder of her high school years and into college.
Lauren ended her summer with another learning opportunity at Rice University in Houston. She attended the Rice ELITE Tech Camp offered through a partnership between Rice and World Strides. According to Rice, the Rice ELITE Tech Camp is the premier pre-college engineering summer program for high school students, with a unique focus on preparing young people to be tomorrow’s leaders in technology and engineering. Created and managed by engineering faculty from the Rice University School of Engineering and the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL), the Rice ELITE Camp is a one-of-a-kind summer experience for high school students.
During this camp, Krawczynski learned Python to Solve Mechanical Engineering Problems, and C++ for Human Spaceflight Engineering. The coursework offered through the program was fast-paced and at a college level, but she was able to adjust and thrive in the experience on account of her preparation through Science Academy.
After a summer full of learning experiences at the state and national level, Krawczynski is back home and ready to apply what she has learned during the new school year.