Youth Advisory Board Alumni

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Welcome Anonymous

Amanda K, youth advisory board member

Amanda K

Summer STEM Institute Participant and Founder of Pop for a Cause

Ever since middle school, when an exceptional science teacher taught and inspired her, Amanda has been extremely passionate about STEM and plans to continue on this path in the future. She first discovered the gender gap in STEM when she showed up to a biology club meeting and was the only girl! She didn’t let this stop her, and this year, Amanda was one of the few underclassmen in her AP Biology class full of upperclassmen, and Amanda is now the president of the Biology Club at her school. Amanda is also captain of her school’s Ethics Bowl Team, where she regularly incorporates bioethics. STEM-wise, Amanda had the fantastic opportunity to intern at Novavax, Inc. last summer and worked in the Clinical Immunology Department, reinforcing her interest in biotech. Amanda is a social entrepreneur and founder of two impactful nonprofit organizations.

Amanda founded a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization Pop for a Cause, which donates 100% of its profits towards charitable causes and conducts monthly community events. Pop for a Cause has raised $23,000 for charitable organizations thus far, engaged 150 volunteers in community events, and was featured on 20+ news outlets. Amanda also founded iDream of Dance to close the opportunity gap of elementary school-aged children by offering free dance lessons and confidence-building workshops. iDream of Dance currently has 12 active chapters worldwide and 50+ free online course lessons. The organization has donated 1,250+ costumes and accessories and impacted 400+ children. Amanda is also a pre-professional competitive hip hop dancer and earned First Place and the Award of Excellence for her choreography, performance, and direction in the National PTA Reflections Art Contest from the Montgomery Council of PTA.

Erika VK

Erika VK

Girls in STEM Advocate

Erika is a sophomore at her high school in Libertyville, Illinois. She is passionate about the STEM fields, especially science and math, where she plans to focus her future. Erika is part of her school’s Mu Alpha Theta Club as well as Girl Scouts, where she is currently leading a project focused on introducing young girls to STEM. She is also committed to her academics and will be taking college courses including language, calculus, history, and physics in the near future. In her free time, Erika plays lacrosse, enjoys cooking, and likes creating art. She also loves to travel and visit countries with particularly unique cultures. Finally, Erika is excited to be a part of the Girls Advisory Board to help the National Girls Collaborative Project inspire young girls to pursue their STEM futures!

Maria S - YAB

Maria S.

Maria is a senior in high school from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is particularly passionate about medicine and how STEM can be used to help others. She also has a desire to encourage girls to explore their interests in STEM, as she knows firsthand how important mentorship can be! Over the summer, Maria had the incredible opportunity to receive mentorship from a primary investigator at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, where she worked to conduct research on bone and soft tissue cancers. This experience has inspired her not only to explore her own passions in oncology but also to share her experiences in hopes that she may help girls find the confidence to become more active in STEM. 


Outside of the STEM world, Maria is an avid tennis player who has played on her high school’s team all four years of high school. She is also passionate about volunteering and giving back to her community. She loves traveling and meeting new people!

Regina A - YAB

Regina A.

Regina is a homeschooled senior from Pittsburgh, PA. Her favorite area of STEM is undoubtedly science. Since elementary school, Regina has conducted a science project each academic year. The topics she has studied range from research on glow-in-the-dark algae to research on insulin resistance. She has successfully competed in the Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair and the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science for over five years. Regina has organized a science fair for the past three years for other homeschool students in the Pittsburgh area to encourage students to pursue STEM. Intertwining her love of science and her desire to care for others, Regina is pursuing a career as a women’s healthcare physician. An experience which helped solidify her career choice was working at Magee Women’s Hospital on the national study “The Glycemic Observation of Metabolic Outcomes in Mothers and Offspring.” For seven years, Regina actively participated in the Tour Your Future program through the Carnegie Science Center. Some of her most memorable experiences from Tour Your Future included viewing open-heart surgeries and operating a multi-million dollar Da Vinci surgical robot. In her free time, Regina loves to bake, spend time outside, and to read.

Sophia B - YAB

Sophia B.

Sophia is a senior attending High-Tech High School in Secaucus New Jersey, majoring in computer science. A first-generation Latina-Asian American, a woman in STEM, and an avid feminist, the multiple lenses through which she views the world shapes the projects to which she is dedicated today. Sophia has committed herself to create opportunities for underrepresented young women in her community and surrounding neighborhoods. Throughout her academic career, she has placed emphasis on uplifting the stories of others, in order to create spaces where diverse young individuals may grow and feel valued for their voices and skill set. Sophia views STEM as a tool for social change, as evidenced by her multiple undertakings. She is an Engineer Girl Ambassador Alumni of the National Academy of Engineering, where she was given 6-months of training to implement a series of classes in her community with the intention of removing any intimidation from the STEM disciplines for curious young women. Sophia founded and is president of her high school’s United Nations’ Girl Up Chapter, as well as her school’s Junior State of America – where she also served as their regional Director of Activism. She’s an active volunteer in her town’s People to People International, and Students in Action, of which she serves as the President. Sophia has published several STEM research projects that have received accolades such as the Broadcom MASTERS Nomination, U.S. Navy and Marine Office of Naval Research Dept. of Defense Naval Science Award for STEM Excellence, and silver and gold medals at the Hudson County STEM Showcase. Recently, Sophia has been invited to be a guest speaker at several conferences, including the Intrepid Museum Virtual Youth Summit. When she’s not working on any of these projects, you can find her working at her public library! 

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