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Guest contribution: Maryland Leaders on Fast Track


Maryland Leaders on Fast Track (LOFT) is a must go to event for high school students interested in careers in science, technology, or engineering. In November, STEM team members from Gaithersburg High School and students from across the county attended the LOFT career symposium at Johns Hopkins University’s Montgomery County campus. This meeting was informational and provided real-world success stories. The day began with keynote speakers Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Congressman John Delaney, and News Channel 8 meteorologist Eileen Whelan. Whelan described a childhood passion about weather prediction and now works for ABC7/WJLA as a storm chaser. As a woman in the STEM field she encouraged students to follow their dreams. During later individual meet-and-greet sessions with scientists, students were introduced to a variety of career options, as well as internship opportunities and science and technology programs offered at different organizations and colleges. The main message from the session was the importance of perseverance and the immense role of technology for modern life. Regardless of one’s individual situation, one can succeed by working hard and staying dedicated. This event helped many students realize how many opportunities they have and how to start exploring STEM careers in the Montgomery County area. Students learned how to get their schools involved and what paths to take as high school students to become successful. This program was offered at no charge to students through a partnership between the MDBio Foundation and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. I highly recommend this event to any student interested in learning more about pursuing career opportunities in STEM disciplines.

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Guest post by Madison Fragnito, student at Gaithersburg High School

Image from the MDBio Foundation

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