The Bull's Eye

Brahma attends national convention

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Brahma attends national convention




Catherine Zhang, Editor-in-Chief

Diamond Bar High School senior Valerie Tsao was selected as one of about 3,000 students who received an opportunity to personally meet and chat with Nobel Prize recipients among other esteemed professionals one weekend this past summer in Boston.

The annual Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders, a three-day program at the end of June, was hosted by the National Leadership Academies.

This nonprofit is dedicated to “supporting students with the skills, motivation, guidance and mentorship they need to stay on track to achieve their goals,” according to its official website.

The organization also offers a program for students interested in the medical field.

The Science and Technology Leaders program boasted a wide variety of speakers, including Nobel Prize recipients, deans of highly esteemed universities, leaders in the scientific field, successful technologists and award-winning inventors and scholars.

Some spoke about their research, while others gave motivational advice to the high school students.

During the convention, participants listened to several speakers from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. with breaks for lunch and dinner.  

After lunch, the attendees were given one hour to converse with the speakers who presented.

“It was my first time having one-on-one conversations with professionals in the field I’m interested in. We have talented teachers [at DBHS], but they may not have the same experience as the researchers. I want to be an engineer, so having those one on one discussions with them was really insightful,” Tsao said.

In order to participate in the program, attendees were either nominated by a teacher or counselor or selected by the organization itself.

On its website, the program describes itself as a “national academic honors program with strict requirements,” and all students nominated must have at least a 3.5 GPA to attend.

Due to her active participation in the program, Tsao received an award from the organization, given to her by DBHS Principal Reuben Jones.

The Award of Excellence was given to Tsao due to her active participation in engaging with the speakers and conversing with them among hundreds of students.

“It was shocking since I wasn’t expecting to get an award. I went for the experience,” Tsao said.

After completing the program, the students are added to an email master list that introduces information about potential scholarships.

“It was really eye opening because there were people that were achieving things like solving cancer that were close to our age. It was a [reminder] that engineering and other STEM careers are accessible to students,” Tsao said.

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