Center for Leadership Academy Scholar Braulio Aguilar Islas
Mexico City, Mexico

Major and Graduation

Computer Science - May 2025

Short-Term Goals

My short-term goal is to get into college and get as much experience as I can in many fields of study, but most importantly, work experience in any capacity. I can't wait for the "doing" part of learning, whether it is volunteering alongside my peers or completing research with faculty. I want to contribute the computer science aspect to research related to space, astronomy, or any other field that I happen to stumble upon and enjoy. I want to utilize my time in college for more than just classes and work towards a degree. I want to take advantage of the college's many opportunities to apply the knowledge you obtain through courses to real-life scenarios. Through those experiences, I want to continue to explore what makes me passionate. In that spirit, I would like to continue to know myself better and maintain a better balance in my life than the one I had during high school. I would also like to achieve the Russian language's conversational level since it's the next language on my language bucket list. I started learning during the lockdown period, but college is the perfect time to pursue interests like that.

Long-Term Goals

Long-term goals are keener to what I would call lifelong dreams. I have two. First off, I want to create my own big tech company that will compete with the industry's giants today and will be good for the world. I strive to create a socially responsible company that will only seek to improve the human condition. I believe it will probably start small with an app or a social network that I will create alongside a team that I will build throughout my career, with peers that I find along the way. But in the end, I strive to participate in the space race that we are living in nowadays. I have always had an urge to explore outer space, and I am determined to do so in any capacity. Whether It is as the owner of a company or maybe even as an astronaut, which will be something that I will try to get involved in, I wish to give back to my mom and brother for all the faith they put in me. I really hope to be in a position, one day, to be able to provide a comfortable retirement for my mother. Maybe even become business partners with my brother!

My second dream is a little more like something that I wish I had when I was growing up. I wish to found a school to teach the generations of tomorrow and create opportunities like no other for children from all over the world to be exposed to different cultures, have many experiences, break the status quo and live really happy lives, and become better world citizens that don't know borders or frontiers. I believe that is the most effective way of effecting change in our society. Educating the next generation with new values to not make the mistakes of the past, I strive never to forget what I experienced in school, the hardships I went through, and create a place for children in need to be able to explore their potential regardless of their social or economic situation.

Leadership Experience

  • Web developer and PR representative for Levanta Essa Bandeira
  • President of the ''Iolani Astronomy club
  • Floor prefect for ''Iolani residential life program
  • Founder of Todo Por Ti
  • Debate team captain
Center for Leadership Academy Scholar Beatriz Blanda da Silva
Chapecó, Brazil

Major and Graduation

Aerospace Engineering - May 2025

Short-Term Goals

My short-term goals are to put my energy towards my objective every day, which is to become an aerospace engineer, while constantly looking for my best version in intellectual, interpersonal, physical and mental aspects.

I intend to live many experiences, build a diverse and broad background, which will help me to see things from different perspectives. I always want to continue in search of knowledge, especially those related to aerospace engineering, which is the course that addresses the subjects that I will use to put my plans into practice, and astronomy, which is my favorite hobby.

I want to meet new people and stories, create networking and friendships.

I seek to exercise communication and creativity in my personal, academic and professional projects and be in constant search for new opportunities for growth and learning. I wish to keep alive the hope and the belief that I can change the world and positively impact people's lives and, thus, be able to also be an example and inspiration that we are able to achieve everything we dream of.

Long-Term Goals

My long-term goals are to undertake the creation of aerospace instruments that will make life easier. My fascination with aerospace engineering goes beyond academic knowledge to enter the world of entrepreneurship where scientific advances are at the service of humanity.

I want to participate in congresses and events around the world, promoting the sharing of knowledge produced and encouraging people to positively impact everyday life. My prosperity will be fostering the continuity of the evolution of the world through support to the institutions of studies that welcomed and prepared me, so that more young people have access to the university and the opportunity to fulfill their aspirations.

I will feel fulfilled when, as an elderly woman, look at what I will have accomplished and be sure that my effort and dedication paid off, have the satisfaction of knowing that my potential will have been optimized and that the result of my choices not only benefits me but impacts the lives of thousands of people.

Leadership Experience

  • Articulator – Garatéa- ISS Contest - Fall 2018
  • Co-founder - Associação Luzes – October 2019 - Present
  • Coordinator - School Astronomy Club- 2019 – 2020
  • Mentor - Mathematics Mentorship – March 2020 to December 2020
  • Organizer - Interseries Games – Summer 2020
  • Organizer- Fundraising Raffle - Summer 2020
Leadership Academy Scholar Muhammad Bilal Aijaz
Karachi, Pakistan

Major and Graduation

Computer Engineering – May 2024 

Short-Term Goals

My short-term goal would be to strive for academic excellence. Maintaining my grades as well as taking part in sports is one of the goals that I hope to maintain. Another short-term goal would be to give back to the community that I grew up in as well as the community that I am currently in. I want to be able to take part in the Idea Shop so I can give up to IIT and it’s community. I will be taking part in community service to give back to this city as well. My aim is to accumulate as much experience and knowledge as possible. Whether it be through internships or seminars, I want to cultivate as much knowledge to prepare me for life after college. I currently aspire to work towards the water filter that I have been developing on with my team. We hope to be able to develop it so it is both effective and cost-efficient. Another one of my goals for the next year or so is to launch a charity for flood victims in my home country. The surrounding area near the rivers faces heavy flooding every year and I hope to provide the people with rations and clothing in these dire circumstances.

Long-Term Goals

My long-term and life goal are to innovate in the field of technology to the level that I can compete with my idols like Elon Musk. This aspiration is a wild one but creativity can go a long way and I feel I have what it takes to go the distance. I would like to pursue my master's and doctorate once I am done with my undergraduate and hope to be able to contribute to research specifically towards Robotics and Artificial intelligence. Cryptocurrency is another field that I want to be able to dive into. The idea of a universal currency with no central bank is very intriguing to me and helps reduce the boundaries between countries. However, there can be a multitude of safety issues such as taxation and server problems. I would like to develop strong AI software that would be able to counter these problems and provide a seamless experience for the user. Aside from this, I aspire to start my own company in the future. As I stated above, my goal is to compete with the best in the industry and invent an AI program that will revolutionize the tech industry.

Leadership Experience

  • Head of Project- Zindagi Water filter- September 2019 to current
  • Head of Project- Project Zameen- March 2020 to June 2020
  • Head of Project- Abled-Not Disabled App-December 2019 to June 2020
  • Lead Researcher- Saaf Saans- June 2019 to December 2019
Leadership Academy Scholar Quinn Cochran
Fredrick, Maryland

Major and Graduation

Architecture - Graduation Date: May 2024 

Short-Term Goals

My short term goal is enthusiastic personal development. I want to work on some of the areas that I have had some trouble with, such as organization, time management, and executive function. I want to improve my scheduling abilities and strengthen my capacity for self-motivation. By improving these fundamental, core skills, I will build a strong foundation from which I can launch the rest of my life. Not only will this make me a more well-rounded person, but a better leader.

However, I still want to improve on the skills that come more naturally to me. My interpersonal skills and creative problem solving must evolve with the rest of me. These skills will be tested as I transition to college life and a pre-professional course of study.

Additionally, I am working towards improving myself both mentally and physically. I have been improving my physical abilities through diet and exercise, and have been working diligently on my mental and emotional resilience. I must make sure that I am my best self so that I can best serve my community.

Long-Term Goals

My long term goal is to use my creativity and problem-solving abilities to do my part in helping to save the environment. I grew up in a place where I was taught the value and beauty of nature from a very young age. As I have grown up, I have started to see how damaged Mother Earth has become, and it is heartbreaking for me. I want to be an architect focused on designing buildings that have as little environmental impact as possible, especially using green technology. In the future, I hope to work with teams to design self-powering homes, green power plants, landmarks to discourage deforestation, and other buildings that can help to keep our planet healthy.

Music is an interest of mine. I am a vocalist and a pianist, and I compose music, as well. I have grown so much as a musician and as a composer in the last few years, and I hope that progress continues for the rest of my life!

I also hope to develop other sorts of creative ideas. Lateral thinking can lead to unexpected answers. For instance, I worked with educators to develop a curriculum (bit.ly/PokeMind) taught exclusively through the Japanese trading card game "Pokémon," a game that is often banned from schools due to how it tends to distract students from their work. This program teaches mental math, basic algebra, language, science, citizenship, organization, and even art. It was very important to me not to "hide the broccoli in the brownies." In other words, I did not want the educational aspects within the program to be hidden; I wanted them to be obvious, but not objectionable. Most children are smarter than people think, and they know when they are being taught. By showing them how learning these skills improves their ability to play the game, I was able to show them real-world examples of how learning this information relates to things they care about. That motivated them to "eat the broccoli" with no complaints.

When I ran workshops to test the curriculum, students who had struggled in traditional school made notable progress. Even better, at least one student had "caught up" with her peers by the time she went back to school. I was able to offer a solution to my community using creative thinking, and I was able to improve the lives of others. I want to raise up my community through practical, creative problem-solving to help improve the physical, social, and educational environment.

Leadership Experience

  • Music Arranger and Bass Section Co-Leader - Urbana High School A Capella Choir: Bass Section Co-Leader - Urbana High School Chambers Ensemble
  • Curriculum Writer and Main Educator- Pokémind - 2016-2019
  • Beside the Still Waters 4-H Club
    • President: 2017-2018
    • Vice President: 2015-2016
    • Treasurer: 2013-2014
    • Secretary: 2011-2012
    • Mentor: 2010 - Present
  • Day Leader - High adventure 4-H Club - 2013-2015
Leadership Academy Scholar Abigail Dudek
Schaumburg, Illinois

Major and Graduation

Chemical Engineering - Graduation Date: May 2024 

Short-Term Goals

I want to further develop my leadership skills in the aspect of diverse thinking, such that I can recognize as many possible solutions to a problem and formulate the best possible solution based on revisions of the given information. I still have much to learn in the years to come at IIT and I aspire to attain my modesty in order to learn based on the observations of my peers. I feel it is crucial to attain humility and flexibility in order to adapt to almost any given situation, as the society we all live in right now is constantly changing. In addition, I want to focus on the concept of sympathetic leadership. Moreover, I want to gain a better understanding of the different life experiences of my peers in order to gain a better understanding of how to be a leader that can offer moral support to my peers when they need it. I'm a firm believer that mental and emotional health is just as important as physical health. At the same time, I want to balance sympathy with courage in the sense that I maintain the courage and confidence to make difficult decisions when necessary.

Long-Term Goals

I want to use my passion for chemical engineering to shed light upon growing ecological and environmental issues in our society, such as the clean water crisis, global warming, and pollution. I want to educate others on the importance of giving back to our community and bring a positive change to the lives of those living in poverty or unsanitary conditions. Techniques such as genetically modified organisms and reverse osmosis along with the general application of chemistry in modern medicine are all examples of ways that I hope to improve the community that I live in for the better. In addition, I hope to gain a greater understanding of what it means to be a true leader, as I aspire to act against the crises we face and propose solutions as to how these issues can be solved. Furthermore, I seek to have the courage to coordinate efforts and take charge when deemed necessary. However, remaining humble and continuing to learn from the people I work with can prove critical for self improvement. Most importantly, I want to be apart of something bigger than myself. I want to know that I used my education to actually make a change in my community instead of waiting for someone else to do it for me.

Leadership Experience

  • Assistant youth soccer coach for U10 girls soccer team in 2017
  • Captain of the Illinois state soccer team 2016-2017
  • Mentor to CCD members of the St. Matthew Catholic Church in Schaumburg, Illinois from 2017-2018
Center for Leadership Academy Scholar Nicolas Etchegaray
Santiago, Chile

Major and Graduation

Mechanical Engineering - May 2025

Short-Term Goals

My short terms goals for life would be to fully adapt to a new country, to see its beauty and enjoy what comes with living outside of what has always been home. I want to spend my time and energy visiting places and meeting people around me.

Career wise would have to be to learn as much as I can, to receive a great education and to be part of events and programs that if I stayed in Chile I couldn't take advantage of. Most importantly I want to meet people, make stories, and master useful skills. Being able to get my first internship is something I’m excited about because it will let be accomplish much of the forementioned things.

Long-Term Goals

My long-term life goal is to be proud and happy with the youth I lived. I want to have gained experience and share it with the people around me. I would like to have lead projects in Chile to create more innovation opportunities for people over there and find people who will be contribution for the world, and if all is going well, offer them opportunities to exceed in their ideas and talents.

If all goes good by the time I’m 50ish I would like to give an opportunity to having a restaurant. Since I’m very passionate about cooking, I would like to have my own kitchen and team and delight people with food.

Leadership Experience

  • Team leader, International Baccalaureate
  • Student body president
  • Bike club lead
  • Scout Patrol Leader
Center for Leadership Academy Scholar Mia Fritsch-Anderson
Chicago, Illinois

Major and Graduation

Mechanical Engineering - May 2027

Short-Term Goals

My short-term goal is to improve my leadership skills and focus on my academic career. As a first-year student I want to learn how to be more involved in the IIT community and give back to it, which is something I’ll be able to do with my leadership skills. I’m excited for my first year and want to get the most I can out of my classes, and I continue to work towards my engineering career. I’m also involved in lots of service organizations in the Chicago area and run my own non-profit organization and will be able to apply my leadership skills to bettering my community. 

Long-Term Goals

My long-term goal is to graduate with my Bachelor of Science in Mechanical engineering and design roller coasters. I have wanted to design roller coasters since I was 9 and I’m really excited to be taking another step in my academic career to reach that goal! I specifically would like to work at a company called Rocky Mountain Construction that designed cutting edge roller coasters. The innovation of design is very interesting to me, and I can’t wait to be involved in that process. 

Another goal of mine is to grow my non-profit to new heights! I want to gain more National partnerships so that I can take my organization to the next level and reach more people in my work of destigmatizing asthma. I want every child to feel like they can use their inhaler without being ashamed. Hopefully long term I will be able to make a significant dent in the number of kids and teens who experience the stigma of asthma every day. 

Leadership Experience

  • Founder of Choose to Breathe 
  • Lung Advocacy Champion, Respiratory Health Association 
  • Assistant Dance Instructor
Leadership Academy Scholar Katherine Galko
Austin, Texas

Major and Graduation

Mechanical Engineering - Graduation Date: May 2024 

Short-Term Goals

My short-term goals are to learn as much as I can from my current classes and develop strong relationships with my professors and the rest of the Illinois Tech community. I want to start setting good habits balancing my academic and social life. Good habits will set a foundation for succeeding at IIT. I also want to start planning my 5-year co-terminal degree plan in order to ensure a clear path to graduation. I am also looking forward to joining clubs and organizations on campus. Actively participating in the community will give me real-world experience and build personal and professional relationships. Eventually, I’d like to be able to contribute to campus organizations in a leadership role. As well as being an active member of the IIT community, I hope to study abroad in order to gain global engineering experience. My more personal short-term goals include increasing my swimming skills as a member of the IIT swim team and achieving C1 and C2 German language certification through the Goethe Institute. During my time at IIT, I plan to gain the skills, experiences, and relationships to make the most of my time here.

Long-Term Goals

My long term goal as a mechanical engineer is to apply engineering practices and creative problem solving to improve the lives of people and create transformative solutions to global challenges. I believe that majoring in mechanical engineering will give me the skills and experience I need to achieve this goal. I plan to explore different engineering career paths toward this goal. I am interested in the space industry, where I could engineer rockets or planes and contribute to space exploration or aviation. Or I might go into environmental engineering where I could help to find innovative solutions to environmental issues, such as clean water and air and helping to create a more sustainable planet. I would also be interested in working on a Formula One team as a car engineer who devises safety and efficiency features that could be applied to car manufacturing or public transportation. I plan to narrow my focus through internships, research opportunities, and co-ops. Ultimately, I want to use my engineering skills to make a difference in the world.

Leadership Experience

  • Camaras Scholar - August 2020 to Present
  • Girl Scouts - Girl Advisory Board Member - 2019 to 2020
  • Destination Imagination Team Manager - 2019 to 2020
  • Congress Bundestag Youth Ambassador - 2018 to 2019
  • Families in Nature Youth Mentor - Junior Ecologist - 2013 to 2020
Center for Leadership Academy Scholar Aaisha Hafeez
Westmont, IL

Major and Graduation

Biology & Psychology - May 2025

Short-Term Goals

My short-term goals are to be actively involved in the IIT community, expand my areas of comfort, and excel academically. I want to build meaningful friendships in college and connect with people from different backgrounds to understand a greater perspective of the world besides my own. I want to make lasting impacts in student organizations like Project Sunshine so that students in the future can continue to benefit from them. In order to expand my comfort zone, I would like to be more outgoing and adventurous. Hopefully, taking risks will lead me to opportunities I couldn’t have reached otherwise. In the classroom, I want to not just learn new information but also enjoy and be intrigued by the topics being discussed. I hope to retain lessons from each class that will stay with me beyond the next few years. Another goal of mine is to attend medical school to put me on the path to being a physician. I strive to do the best I can on the MCAT to showcase my knowledge. I hope to be as excited to attend each lecture in medical school as I am now in undergrad. Throughout the next few years, I would like to also continue playing sports and spending quality time with my family.

Long-Term Goals

My long-term goals are to be an effective and compassionate physician, serve my community, and promote learning for all. As a doctor, I want to listen attentively to each patient with respect so that I can better lead their treatment and improve their quality of life. I would especially like to give back to the people that enriched my upbringing by addressing the health concerns that disproportionately affect the South Asian community, such as heart disease and diabetes. I want to attend conferences and study the latest research on medical advances to always keep increasing my knowledge and stay up to date. I hope to also pass on my knowledge and skills to the newer generation of medical professionals and help build a more supportive and encouraging space for learning in medicine. In my personal life, I want to maintain meaningful and relaxing hobbies like recreational sports, hiking in national parks, and pottery to balance the stress of work. 

Leadership Experience

  • Co-President, Project Sunshine (2023-Present)
  • Administrative Justice, Student Government Association (2022-Present)
  • Group Leader, National Honor Society (2020-2021)
  • Vice President, Graphic Design Club (2019-2020)
  • Assistant Basketball Coach, Detroit Muslim Interscholastic Tournament (2018-2020)
Leadership Academy Scholar KyLee Hennes
Hubertus, WI

Major and Graduation

Architecture – May 2024 

Short-Term Goals

I've always been the type of person who believes that anyone of any cultural background, economic status, ethnicity, gender, etc., can achieve whatever they put their minds to. Through my time at IIT thus far, I have learned the fundamental values of collaboration and initiating teamwork. Through the next few years of college and into my professional career as a licensed architect, I hope to continue to serve on the NOMASiit and I-NOMA executive boards. Being a part of organizations at the university level allows us as young adults to learn the importance of having a voice. There truly is nothing more valuable than the knowledge of the generations to come. Although I know I will continue to face challenges due to being younger than my classmates, I will never let my age set me back from pursuing my dream goals. As human beings in this vast world of opportunities and experiences, we need strong leaders at the forefront; to help us move forward with issues of gender discrimination, racial injustice, economic challenges, the stigmas of mental health, among others. It is a goal of mine in the next few years of my college experience to continue my work in on-campus organizations so that every new incoming class that comes to IIT knows that there is a future here just waiting for them; we need their voices to be heard. 

Long-Term Goals

As I look to the long term, I would like to stay involved in the culture of my college education as an alumna of the College of Architecture, while still maintaining a steady position as a Project Architect at a local architecture firm in the Chicagoland area. Although I know where I would like to be in terms of my professional career, I personally overlook the importance of true happiness in life. I believe that through my process as an architectural designer in my future and after graduation, I will have the ability to impact people's day to day life through a design and through a concept; and I think that is true happiness. The idea of knowing that I can change a life or serve a community in need is truly what I want to do for the rest of my career and life in general. Because it is a true value of mine to continue learning so that we pave the way for the generations to come, it is a lofty goal of mine to come back to teaching after practicing architecture. I have had a number of role models in my experience at IIT thus far and the idea of following in their footsteps by working as a professor for the incoming architects after we finish our work here on earth is at the back of my mind whenever I dream about my future. As architects, urban planners, engineers, construction managers, among other fields, we are trusted with human life. Although we are working with actual structures, what truly matters is the lives we are changing when we design. It has always been a main priority of mine to take into consideration how an architect is affecting the community they are designing for, which sheds light on my interest in community leadership and involvement. Architecture is not solely about the aesthetics or appearance of a design; it has the ability to influence societal issues that are prominent in our current society. I believe that in the long-term, we must understand as designers and young leaders that leading is not about superiority, but about collaboration and teamwork.

Leadership Experience

  • Treasurer - NOMASiit - 2021-Present
  • Project Pipeline Chair - NOMASiit - 2020-2021
  • Project Pipeline Co-Chair - I-NOMA - 2021-Present
  • Social Media Representative - Catholic Campus Ministry - 2020-Present
  • Choral Director - St. Boniface Children's Choir - 2018-2019
  • Principal Roles in Musical Theatre productions 2012-Present
Center for Leadership Academy Scholar Nicole Kadziola
Bolingbrook, Illinois

Major and Graduation

Chemistry - May 2025

Short-Term Goals

My short-term career goal is to obtain an internship or get into a research program for the Summer of 2023. It is important for me to obtain hands-on experience in the field of organic chemistry which I am so passionate about.

My mid-term goals would be to graduate with a B.S. in Chemistry and M.S. in Nutrition Sciences in five years with a 3.6 GPA and confidence to jump into the real world. I plan to have a career opportunity already waiting for me before I graduate, specifically one that has a lot of potential to learn and advance in.

Long-Term Goals

My long-term goals include running a team of scientists/ researchers, and hopefully making groundbreaking discoveries in the medicinal or holistic treatment field. I hope to be able to teach others and host seminars of my own based on the knowledge I acquire in the field of my study, on leadership, entrepreneurship, and topics of the matter.

My life goals are about expanding my knowledge and giving back to the community. As I advance in my career, I hope to be able to help others progress with their careers as well and become their mentor. Since I am a lifelong learner, I will continue learning and developing myself on various topics. I want to become an authority in my field and pass on my knowledge and experience to others. I can’t stress enough how valuable it’s been to learn from others, listen to their advice and life experience. As I grow professionally and personally, I want to be in my mentors’ shoes and work with students and young professionals, as well as my own team to inspire them to action, and to be confident and always follow their dreams. I also want to pursue an active lifestyle, continue eating healthy with regular exercise to be a well-balanced individual and have a clear mind for my professional, and career work.

Leadership Experience

  • Supervisor, Forge Lemont Quarries
  • Executive Board, Society of Women Engineers
  • Team Lead & Communication Director, Synthetic Biology Research Project
  • Executive Member, National Honor Society

 

Center for Leadership Academy Lucy Kegley
Minneapolis, MN

Major and Graduation

Architecture - May 2025

Short-Term Goals

When thinking about my goals, I picture them as a web. Rather than being a list of different things I want to accomplish, each goal is a part of a network of goals. All of them, whether short or long term or personal or professional are connected. Working towards one impacts my progress and success of my other goals.

In the center of the web is what you could call my main goal in life: fulfillment for myself and those around me and being able to live freely and happily, while giving back to others.

Close to the center would be my short term goals, which include building a strong foundation of architectural and professional skills, developing healthy lifestyle habits, and immersing myself in new things. Throughout my studio and design classes I want to constantly be improving my craft and producing work that I am proud of. Utilizing this work I can create portfolios to showcase my skills, while preparing myself for internships and the professional world. While still in college I hope to get internships in two or three different firms, so that I can start to figure out where I fit best in the world of architecture. Design work can be tiring and can cause burnout, so that’s why two of my other goals are to strengthen my sleep habits and also maintain a consistent school/life balance. In addition to these academic and health goals, I want to make sure that I am staying present, so that I can enjoy the little things. I want to be able to look back on my college experience and know that I made the most out of every day. This means doing things that I’m passionate about and exploring new things. I came to Chicago for a reason so I want to keep exploring new restaurants and places. I aspire to be able to cook as good as some of the chefs of these restaurants, by improving my cooking abilities. I want to continue enhancing my photography skills and I hope to capture some of the memories I will make in the rest of my time here.

I believe that in working to accomplish these goals I will be able to make the most out of my college experience while also preparing myself for life after my time at Illinois Tech.

Long-Term Goals

Further out in the web are my long term goals, that focus on creating sustainable, affordable housing and engaging in community organizations. Ultimately, I want to design housing that aligns with the values of the “Homes Guarantee” which states that everyone in America should have access to safe, accessible, and affordable housing. I want to design housing units that reimagine public housing as we know it today and to hopefully dismantle some of the negative stereotypes regarding public housing. To prepare myself for that, I aim to start working in firms that focus on sustainability and community buildings. Through my initial work experience I want to build a foundation that allows me to develop the skills needed to create my own architectural projects. Concurrently, I want to expand my network, meeting people outside of college, within my industry, and those in my community. In order for my work to have the most impact and to truly fit the needs of the communities they’re designed for, I believe I must understand and learn from different perspectives. Similarly, I want to engage in community actions and organizations that fight for justice and liberation. Architecture is only one way to give back, and I do not want to limit myself to one thing but rather stand up for what I believe in, in every way I know how.

While I do not plan on focusing all of my time after college on my career, I believe that my personal goals will continue to shape themselves as time goes on. As I grow and work towards my short term goals, my long term goals will grow too.

I want to be able to look back and be proud of the experiences I have made and the impact I have had on others, through my work in architecture as well as within my personal life and community involvement. I strive to always be in the present and I want to live my life full of laughter, growth, and gratitude.

Leadership Experience

  • Senator: Student Government Association (May 2021 - Present)
  • Lead First Year Experience Mentor: First Year Experience Program (January 2021 - Present)
  • Public Relations Chair: Citizens’ Climate Lobby (September 2020 - March 2021)
  • First Year Experience Mentor: First Year Experience Program (August 2020 - December 2020)
  • Sustainability Chair: Citizens’ Climate Lobby (December 2019 - May 2020)
  • Outfront Minnesota Youth Leadership Council (June 2018 - July 2019)
  • Senior Editor and Photographer: Southwest Yearbook (August 2018 - May 2019)
  • Peer Educator: Project CLEAR (Consent Leads to Empowering and Affirming Relationships) (July 2018 - May 2019)
  • Captain: Minneapolis Women’s Lacrosse Team (May 2018 - May 2019)
  • Inclusive Leadership Team Member: Special Olympics Unified Schools (May 2018 - May 2019)
  • Student Board of Directors: Special Olympics (May 2018 - May 2019)
  • Student Leader: Principal’s Leadership Team (October 2017 - May 2019)
  • Executive Team Member and Administration Coordinator: Educate Ya’ Self (August 2017 - May 2019)
  • A-Team Member: Link Crew (August 2017 - May 2019)
  • Tech Director: Unhinged Theatre (August 2017 - October 2018)
  • Student Representative: Equity Committee (August 2017 - May 2018)
Leadership Academy Scholar Naia Lum
Honolulu, Hawaii

Major and Graduation

Mechanical Engineering - Graduation Date: May 2024 

Short-Term Goals

My short term personal goals revolve around adaptation and finding balance. As it is my first year in college amid a global pandemic, I aim to have the ability to adapt and learn from unforeseen situations. Another goal of mine is to find balance and control in my personal and professional life. Throughout my high school years, I’ve focused on my academic development and extracurricular activities, leaving little room for self-reflection and personal growth. I plan to improve on these aspects by starting my day with journaling, reflecting on my health, day-to-day interactions, and finally set an intention for each day.

Regarding my academic and career-based goals, I want to constantly challenge myself by stepping out of my comfort zone. Whether it be through applying for a selective internship or saying “yes” to an unexpected opportunity, I hope to gain new knowledge and confidence through seeking discomfort. Additionally, I want to strive for academic excellence, not only in receiving good grade averages but also in understanding and expanding upon the material I learn. As an avid maker, my passion lies with hands-on projects. I plan to pursue another project tying in the lessons I learn within the classroom with the implementation of technical skills.

Long-Term Goals

In the long term, I aim to pursue projects that have positive impacts that expand beyond myself. I want to serve the greater good for the environment and those who live in it. While I am unsure of how I will go about pursuing this goal, I strive to stay true to myself and my core values. Some of these values consist of empathy, passion, and strength. I understand that I need to maintain these values throughout my career opportunities to stay true to the impact I want to have on the world.

Another goal of mine is to continue to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors centered around solving global problems utilizing technology. I hope to gain knowledge by analyzing my failures and successes to offer a positive contribution to the world. I also have a deep desire to take on jobs in Europe, Australia, Latin America, and maybe even Asia. Those experiences would allow me to explore and understand the greater world, contributing to my overall knowledge of how to make positive impacts on more than just the United States.

In my lifetime, I hope to leave positive impacts on our world while always being open to self-evaluation and learning opportunities.

Leadership Experience

  • Scholar - Duchossois Leadership - Spring 2020-Present
  • Scholar - Leadership Academy - Spring 2020-Present
  • Alumni Team Leader - Nalukai Foundation - Summer 2020
  • Co-Founder - EcoCrates - Summer 2019-Winter 2019
  • Lead - ‘Iolani Hackers - 2018-2020
  • Co-Lead - Ignite Initiative - 2018-2020

  

Center for Leadership Academy Scholar Ryan Manthy
Arlington Heights, IL

Major and Graduation

Computer Science – May 2024 

Short-Term Goals

In the short term, my goal is to become more involved in on-campus affairs. As somebody interested in improving the accessibility of systems for marginalized people, I find myself involved in a lot of government and political work off-campus. However, I feel there is so much opportunity to effect the same kind of change on campus. Particularly, I hope to serve on the e-board of one or two social justice organizations on campus and use my role as a VP of Events to encourage the school to promote equity on campus. I also intend to remain involved as Treasurer of Intinium and off-campus with political and non-profit work. It is my sincere hope that I can better understand myself and the world around me through these involvements. Moreover, I would like to get involved in undergraduate research on the applications of blockchain technology in voting, maintain a good GPA, and build meaningful relationships with my friends and peers in college. Last, I hope to encompass all of my experiences to better understand who I am and how I can be an active citizen.

Long-Term Goals

After my undergraduate degree, I hope to attend graduate school and obtain a master’s in public policy and a Ph.D. in computer science. During this time, I intend on further exploring the relationship between government and technology. Specifically, I am fascinated by how technology impacts our elections and how it can improve access to democracy for communities who find it difficult to access polling places, government offices, and other important state resources. Upon completing my education, I hope to be a professor and policy advisor on technology regulation. This is a position that I feel would be intellectually, emotionally, and intrinsically rewarding. I aspire to use my education and resources to positively impact the lives of people close and distant to me and feel that my role in this world is to be an educator and an organizer. Serving in an academic and research capacity would enable me to fulfill my role and achieve my purpose. Ultimately, I hope to live out my life in a way such that I am making the world a better place than the way it was when it came to me.

Leadership Experience

  • VP of Events, Student Government Association - 2021-current
  • Treasurer, Intinium - 2020-current
  • Executive Director, The Committee to Draft Michelle Obama - May 2020 - September 2020
  • Chief of Staff, Cal Woods for Iowa - Jan 2020 - May 2020
  • Chair, Youth Advisory Board to State Representative Mark Walker. - Aug 2019 - April 2020

  

Center for Leadership Academy Scholar Delisha Mehta

Major and Graduation

Major and Graduation: Architecture - May 2025

Short-Term Goals

My short term goal is to focus on grasping knowledge in the field of Architecture, maintaining my GPA and applying for a co-terminal degree in the same.

Long-Term Goals

My long term goal is to work with different organisations on different levels (startup’s- well-known companies ) to carve my architectural skills. In this phase, I want to work with diversified teams and learn how to solve complex designing and living problems. Through this, I intend to explore some of the more niche techniques in the field and build a social network for future help and growth.

Leadership Experience

  • Student Mentor, College of Architecture (Aug, 2021- Present)
  • XOC Campus Brand Ambassador Riddle & Bloom, Boston, Massachusetts (Aug, 2021- Nov, 2021)
  • Public Relations Manager, Intinium Organisation (2021-Dec, 2021)
  • SGA Senator (2020-Present)

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Center for Leadership Academy Scholar Jackson Menendez
Chicago, Illinois

Major and Graduation

Civil Engineering - May 2027

Short-Term Goals

A short-term goal of mine is to maintain good grades and graduate from Illinois Institute of Technology with a degree in civil engineering while maintaining a good grade point average. I would like to join multiple student organizations and start my own. I also want to continue to work hard and secure an internship before graduation.

Long-Term Goals

My long-term goal is to secure a job in civil engineering or to continue my studies and earn a master's degree in civil engineering. I would also like to mentor and advise the next generation. Becoming an Eagle Scout taught me some of the most valuable lessons, and I am very interested in giving back to my community. Lessons include collaboration, communication, and teamwork, essential skills for working in a tech environment.

Leadership Experience

  • Local Student Council Student Representative
  • Postsecondary Leadership Team Student Representative
  • Eagle Scout
  • National Honor Society Officer
  • Team Captain, Cross Country

 Captain, Indoor Track

Center for Leadership Academy Scholar Hamid Mohiuddin

Major and Graduation

Major and Graduation: Psychology - May 2025

Short-Term Goals

My short-term goals are to apply myself to my studies and do the best I can in all my classes, participate in psychology research, make more friends, and increase my involvement in the Illinois Tech community.

Long-Term Goals

My long-term goals are to begin my career as a psychiatrist, allow my parents to retire as soon as possible, and make a difference in both my local and global communities by promoting better mental health awareness and joining organizations such Doctors Without Borders.

Leadership Experience

  • Psi Chi Honor Society (Fall 2021-Present)
  • American Medical Student Association Event Planning Committee Member (Fall 2021- Present)
  • Student Government Association Senator Nominee (Spring 2021)
Center for Leadership Academy Scholar Matthew Nejedlo

Major and Graduation

Major and Graduation: Aerospace Engineering - May 2025

Short-Term Goals

My short term goal is simply to live one day at a time, in dedication to my journey and future success as an aerospace engineer. With a relentless yearning to become better in every aspect of “me,” I ensure that in the future I’ll have become a person that younger me envisioned. Socially I look to forge new relationships with my peers, being a positive and encouraging influence in the lives of people around me. Every once in a while we are fortunate enough to meet a person who makes our day brighter, and life even more beautiful. Simply, I would like to be that person to others. Of equal importance, I’d like to discover a deeper relationship with the connections I already have. My family and friends from home shaped me and forged my identity. Professionally I’m excited to bolster my resume with jobs and internships. With help from local companies and the IIT community I can create the luck I need to succeed. I’ll be the master of my academics and truly embrace the heart of learning to satiate the curiosity within me. More practically, short term I’m looking to save money by purchasing a house off campus and renting it out to my friends with the understanding that when I sell off my equity in a few years it’ll have been cheaper to live off campus than on. With that knowledge I’m super excited because I can also save my friends money if they choose to move in with me.

Long-Term Goals

Ultimately, my long term goal is to utilize my love for Aerospace Engineering to push the limits of what we know to be possible and to fuel a spirit of adventure towards the heavens. I think ultimately though, my goal is about people, and our collective home. As blaze a new path towards the stars it’s paramount we start with a firm foundation here at home. I hope I’ve explored, I hope I’ve raised a family, but I need to have reached the heart and soul of people. The call to explore is great, but being raised in a close community I believe that the call to love your brothers and sisters in the world is immeasurably greater. I can say with absolute certainty that in 60 years, I will be able to look back and smile. I’ll smile on a life well lived, moments experienced, and lives I’ve affected. I’ll have started a business, set policy, and overcome large scale tribulations.

Leadership Experience

  • High School JV/Varsity Team Captain(football)
  • Cadet Commander
  • Rocketry Team Leader
  • Robotics Team Mentor
Center for Leadership Academy Scholar David Omieworio

Major and Graduation

Major and Graduation: Aerospace Engineering – May 2026

Short-Term Goals

My short-term goals and my career/long-term goals are intertwined in the sense that there will come a time when some of my life goals will give rise to my career goals. This is because I need to accomplish my short-term goals before I can properly achieve my career/long-term goals. In the case of my life goals, my short-term goals are mostly school-related. My short-term goals are, firstly, to cope with and get through the first year of university with a nice experience. I want to have a good memory of my start in college, both academically and people-wise. I want to be able to develop better leadership skills while working with the Leadership Academy. Throughout my life, I haven’t had much experience leading people and one of the reasons why I joined the Leadership Academy was so that it could teach me how to do it the right way. So I really hope to add that to my skill set pretty soon.

Long-Term Goals

For my long-term life goals, firstly, I want to be able to graduate from Illinois Institute of Technology with a first class in Aerospace Engineering, to get a good and steady job as an Aerospace Engineer, probably somewhere other than the United States seeing as I’m an international student. Secondly, after getting a good job, I want to retire my parents and take care of them. Possibly move them from Nigeria to a nice part of the world where they can enjoy the rest of their days. Then I look towards getting a Master’s degree in Aerospace engineering after a few years of work possibly. Maybe, I’ll even come back to IIT to take the program. Lastly, I would like to start my own orphanage or better still start a foundation to take care of orphans in Nigeria. I once did volunteer service at an orphanage and I was touched by the experience so I hope to contribute more to that aspect of society. I look towards starting my own aircraft manufacturing line in the far future. However, I can’t say more about that plan for now.

Leadership Experience

  • Leadership Academy Scholar - Leadership Academy, 2022 - Present
  • Newsletter Student Editor - Loyola Jesuit College - 2020-2021
  • Refectory Head - Loyola Jesuit College - 2019-2020
  • Dorm Prefect - Loyola Jesuit College - 2019-2020
  • Vice President of JETS and Braincrackers Club - Loyola Jesuit College - 2020-2021
Center for Leadership Academy Scholar Arman Pabani

Major and Graduation

Major and Graduation: Biology - May 2024

Short-Term Goals

My short term goal is to continue pursuing excellence at IIT academically, to continue assisting the Bhushan team with researching colon cancer, and to take on further leadership roles within the organizations that I am most interested in, including MEDLIFE. I am optimistic that the MEDLIFE team will be able to go to Peru this summer to assist with the underprivileged communities that lack healthcare, and that I will be an integral part of that effort. I also am hopeful to be admitted into the Leadership Academy, which will help to better myself and the community around me.

Long-Term Goals

Longer Term, I plan on becoming a leader in my chosen field of medicine. Subsequently, I would like to work with NGOs throughout the world, assisting to improve and alleviate devastating ailments internationally. I would eventually like to join and lead teams within an organization such as Doctors without Borders to assist humanity.

Leadership Experience

  • Co-Founder and Co-President of Project Sunshine Chapter at IIT
  • MEDLIFE Fundraising Director
  • High School Model UN President
  • High School Founder and President of the Elgin Academy (EA) Health Club
  • High School Student Council Class Representative
  • Leadership role in the EA High School Cross Country and Track team
  • EA High School Student Ambassador
Center for Leadership Academy Scholar Paual Pardo Pena
Bogota, Colombia

Major and Graduation

Astrophysics - May 2025

Short-Term Goals

To establish a solid foundation for my long-term aspirations, I prioritize three key short-term goals. Firstly, I want to seek experiences that will propel my personal and professional growth, engaging in relevant opportunities on and off campus. This will cultivate practical skills, expand my knowledge, and foster expertise in my field. Additionally, I want to build a diverse network, gaining inspiration, different perspectives, and valuable learning opportunities.

Another short-term goal involves using self-reflection as a powerful tool for growth. Regular evaluation enables me to refine methodologies, systems, and habits, ensuring continuous improvement. This adaptive approach will empower me to navigate situations and overcome constraints without hindering progress. Lastly, the third short term goal is achieving economic self-sufficiency. This goal holds immense importance not just for myself but also for my family. By attaining financial independence, I alleviate the burdens of financial constraints, enabling my family to lead a more peaceful and stable life.

Long-Term Goals

My long-term goals are driven by a strong sense of gratitude and a desire to give back to society, my family, and pursue fulfilling work. One of my primary aspirations is to complement my career as a scientist with a focus on public policy related to science. By studying and understanding the intricacies of science policy, I aim to position myself to make a substantial impact in the field. Ultimately, my goal is to become the Minister of Science, Technology, and Education in Colombia. In this influential role, I envision myself utilizing my expertise in science and policy to foster innovation, drive equitable access to education, and promote scientific research for the betterment of the country and its people.

Additionally, ensuring the financial stability and wellbeing of my parents holds great importance to me. I am committed to providing them with a peaceful and comfortable life during their later years, ensuring they can enjoy a secure and worry-free future. Moreover, I hold the deep belief that fulfillment in both work and relationships is paramount to leading a rewarding life. I aspire to love my profession, finding purpose and joy in my everyday tasks. By cultivating meaningful and harmonious relationships with the people around me, I strive to create a supportive network that fosters personal growth, love, and a deep sense of belonging. Nurturing these connections and making a positive impact on the lives of those around me, l aim to shape a fulfilling existence, where personal growth and positive influence go hand in hand.

Leadership Experience

  • President, SOCIOS 
  • Treasurer, Advanced Automotive Development - Aenigma - Society of Women in Space Exploration
  • STEM Learning Intern Lead
  • Mentor - DevUp program at IIT
  • Lab Campus Life Ambassador - Office of Campus Life IIT 
  • President, Student Government Association (High School)
Center for Leadership Academy Scholar Shivam Patel

Major and Graduation

Major and Graduation: Biomedical Engineering - May 2024

Short-Term Goals

My short-term goals are the ones I set for myself every single day. Whether the goal for today is finishing my assignments, doing research, or attending my student organization meetings, the foundation of each of my short-term goals is trying my best to be the most productive I can be. To attend medical school, I must meet the perquisite requirements. The classes I must take to fulfill these requirements call for an intense workload which can only be successfully completed with proper time management. As a result, much of my short-term goals have to do with incorporating time to study for most of my classes at least once a day. Those that truly know me know that balance is something I value in life, and all my goals are oriented in a fashion that will allow me to achieve this balance. I always want to make time for my friends and family and be involved in some type of service in the community.

Long-Term Goals

My long-term career goals are to practice medicine to save lives and improve the overall wellbeing of my patients and those around me. I would like to join Doctors Without Borders to provide care for those in low resource communities who aren’t fortunate enough to have proper access to healthcare. My ideal situation would be to have a family of my own that is financially stable, happy, and healthy.

Leadership Experience

  • Illinois Tech Project Sunshine Co-founder and Co-president (October 2020 – Present)
  • Engineering World Health Fundraising Chair (August 2021 – Present)
  • Volunteering at St. Alexius Medical Center, Lead Volunteer (July 2018 – March 2020)
  • HOSA – Future Health Professionals Position Executive Board Member (High School)
  • Class of 2020 High School Council Vice President
  • High School Volleyball Team Captain
Center for Leadership Academy Scholar Jilliana Piltutti
Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan

Major and Graduation

Architecture - May 2027

Short-Term Goals

Starting with my academic career I intend to graduate with my architectural degree and minor in structural engineering. Along the way I intend to continue being a part of student organizations. Being involved has been my way of making connections with people at different points in their architecture studies. Working towards the minor in structural engineering has allowed me to meet many students from other majors in my classes, it has also taught me how to be organized with my time and future classes I need to plan.

Long-Term Goals

After I graduate from IIT I intend to become a licensed architect and work towards a Master of Architecture. With this wealth of education, I plan to travel and work on projects all around the world. By learning from different architects and working in locations with different climate restrictions and design challenges I believe it will allow me to become a well-rounded designer and person. As I move forward in my career I hope to open a firm with an interest in environmentally friendly technology in building and materials. With this firm I hope to also provide mentorship and other event opportunities for young people to find their way in the design world. With unique experiences I plan to become better at approaching challenges, speaking professionally, and being confident in my ideas.

Leadership Experience

  • First Year Studio Representative, IIT Chapter of American Institute of Architecture Students
  • Swim Coach, Grosse Pointe Farms Park

Team Captain, Grosse Pointe South High School Varsity Swim Team

Center for Leadership Academy Abrar Shahariar Rafi

Major and Graduation

Major and Graduation: Mechanical Engineering- May 2025

Short-Term Goals

My short-term goal is to experience new things and grab every opportunity I have in life. Coming to the US and living thousands of miles away from my family is a tough choice so being mentally strong is a priority. I want to give my best in studies and maintain a high GPA. Besides that, I want to utilize every single second of College through my involvement in Student Clubs and organizations at IIT, because Clubs and Orgs are the perfect places where I can make more connections with people, make good friends and most importantly, I can improve my leadership and communication skills, and all other necessary skills along the way. I have already joined a few Orgs including AIAA, ASME, RHA and MSA, and I want to contribute more to these Clubs, as a result of which I have applied to join the Executive Board of AIAA and plan to serve as the Secretary of the Club next Fall semester. Furthermore, I aim to spend time for my personal growth by learning to code, outside of course work, and attain knowledge about investment in stock markets. Helping my peers has always given me joy so I am working as a Junior hawk this semester and willing to be a Hawk Ambassador to serve the IIT community. As a floor representative of the Cunningham Hall last semester I have had the privilege to present all the concerns and needs of my floormates to the Residence Housing Association, and I would want to continue being an advocate for the residence as a Residential Advisor.

Long-Term Goals

Being a humble, compassionate, respected person and contributing to my field as much as possible is my long-term goal. To be a good human being is essential for me because it is goodness, prosperous deeds and humanitarianism that forms a successful person's legacy in this world. I intend to pursue a PhD in Aerospace Engineering, which will provide me the necessary capabilities to commence my own research firm. As an aerospace enthusiast, I aspire to use my engineering knowledge to integrate Artificial Intelligence in Auto-pilot systems, which would improve aircraft flight maneuvers vastly and make the take-off & landing more comfortable. Moreover, I am eager to design more Fuel-Efficient jet engines to reduce carbon emissions, global warming, and cut down noise pollution caused by jet engines to make the stratosphere cleaner. I want to be recognized as a global leader and successful Entrepreneur through my research outputs and problem-solving initiatives for mankind. In the future, I would like to invest in High Tech companies to support the advancement of technologies. Last but not the least, being the eldest son of my parents and the first college goer of my family I want to make them proud and do my best to ensure my parents a good life. As a responsible citizen of Bangladesh, I plan to facilitate the education and healthcare system in Bangladesh making them more affordable for the underprivileged people.

Leadership Experience

  • Junior Hawk (January 2022 - Present)
  • Leader of Team “iPharma” in Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp 2018 (November 2018 - December 2018)
  • Head of Distribution in "Sunshine Charities" (August 2017 - May 2020)
  • Head of GED (General Education Diploma) Mathematics at Mentors’ Chittagong (October 2020 - May 2021)
Leadership Academy Scholar Brennan Shapiro
Itasca, Illinois

Major and Graduation

Biomedical Engineering - Graduation Date: May 2024 

Short-Term Goals

My short-term goals as I'm starting college are to maintain good grades and balance it with a healthy social life. My short term goals are always flexible, I am always finding new projects that I want to work on and there are always new skills I want to improve on, such as chess, video games, or graphic design. Currently, I hope to make many new friends and join student organizations where I can meet new people and foster my interests. I would like to take leadership positions in my community through the organizations I join and through school as well. I hope the Leadership Academy will teach my everything I need to become a great leader one day. I would also like to learn as much as I can about Biomedical Engineering, so in the future I know what I want to with it and what related internships or projects to pursue in later years of college. I hope to work on bettering myself as a scientist and a leader, and using that to help my community, whether that be helping with homework or student organizations, or maybe one-day creating new technology to help the world.

Long-Term Goals

My main long term goal is to graduate from Illinois Tech with a Bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering. After completing college and any projects or internships, I will go on to continue my education through medical school. I hope to contribute to the world through research into the medical field and virology. One day, I hope to invent new technology and maybe start my own business. Biomedical Engineering gives me diverse opportunities to pursue many new innovations related to both the medical field and engineering. Biomedical Engineering allows me to keep a broad perspective on the issues of the world, and work in many different fields throughout my life. It could apply to innovations in the fields of medicine, technology, space travel, the environment, and many more. I will use what I learned at Illinois Tech and the Leadership Academy to become a leader and help as much as I can through developing technology and saving lives as a doctor. I will always stay active in my community, and help the world by active against issues facing our world, such as degradation to the environment. I will find ways to help though my career and through activism. One day, I hope to have a community that I contribute to and would be happy to start a family in.

Leadership Experience

  • Leadership Academy Scholar - Present
  • Project Intern - Ennovation Company, Clean Tech Group - 2018 to 2019
  • Student Researcher - Bacteriophage Discovery Team - 2019 to 2020
  • Team Leader - IIT Innovation Challenge - 2020
  • President - Space Club - 2019 to 2020
  • Founder - Geology Club - 2017 to 2020
  • Camp Counselor - Walcamp - 2016 to 2019
  • Senior Patrol Leader - Boy Scouts - 2016
Center for Leadership Academy Scholar Nabilah Siddiqui
Lombard, IL

Major and Graduation

Computer Science - May 2024

Short-Term Goals

I would like to continue being involved in student organizations such as Women in STEM and Gender Minorities (WiSTEM) and WiCYs (Women in Cybersecurity) while maintaining good academic standing. I would also like to continue working hard due to my passion for Computer Science.

As a student at Illinois Tech, I am an active member of ACMW, WISTEM, WICYS, and MSA. This extracurricular involvement has provided me with support and mentorship from other women in the Computer Science department at Illinois Tech. We have meetings and events dedicated to creating a community for women in tech here. Through these clubs/organizations, I have been provided with a safe and encouraging environment. Based on my interaction with like-minded women I have been able to gain a better understanding of other women scientists’ experience in the corporate world as they have given advice on how to approach the recruitment process. In addition, I plan to be very involved in the student organizations at Illinois Tech by joining the executive boards of different student organizations on campus in order to expand my network, support my initiatives, and even strengthen my professional credibility. I would also like to continue volunteering for non-profit organizations such as Muhsen because I want to take the initiative to help students with learning disabilities. Since it is difficult to help some of these organizations in person due to the pandemic, I’m able to continue fulfilling my job as a Muhsen Special Needs Sunday School Teacher virtually.

I hope to develop my leadership skills, build meaningful connections with others, and take the initiative to help people reach their goals. I aspire to grow and improve myself both professionally and personally by gaining new skills and experience.

Long-Term Goals

I would like to attain a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science as a part of my undergraduate education. After that, I want to receive a Professional Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity because I would like to take the initiative to prevent cyber attacks and help others realize the importance of the field of cybersecurity because it is in high demand. I would like to become proficient in several programming languages including but not limited to Java, Python, and C++. This would prepare me for an internship in Computer Science that would allow me to gain the needed industry experience. I would like to work for big tech companies such as Google or Apple sometime in the future.

My other goal is to continue volunteering at non-profit organizations and help my fellow peers around me in any way I can. Once I have gained enough experience in programming, I would like to become a mentor for the ACMW and WICYS mentorship programs especially since these programs have truly impacted me by giving me career guidance during the first semester of my freshman year. I would like to take the initiative to help the community around me by trying to incorporate diversity and inclusion because I want to help take the initiative to empower women in the STEM fields.

In addition, I strongly believe that growing my network is also important so I would like to create a non-profit organization that empowers more young women to join the STEM field. My primary focus would be on educating others on the future of technology, especially on the different branches of computer science. I also want to educate others on the importance of cybersecurity as it is currently in high demand now. Another way in which I want to help out in my community is that I want to take the initiative to help children with special needs and serve as a role model for the others around me as I have had some prior experience with this since last summer.

Leadership Experience

  • International Day Fundraiser - UNICEF High School Club, 2016
  • Youth Services Assistant for Summer Reading Program - Helen Plum Library, 2018
  • 12th Grade Representative - ICTM, 2020
  • Special Needs Teacher - MUHSEN, 2020 - Present
  • Computer Science Representative - Women in STEM and Gender Minorities (WiSTEM), 2021 - Present
  • Leadership Academy Scholar - Leadership Academy, 2021 - Present
  • Secretary - Women in Cybersecurity (WiCys), 2021 - Present
Center for Leadership Academy Scholar Maritza Torres
Culiacán, Sinaloa, México

Major and Graduation

Civil Engineering - May 2025

Short-Term Goals

My main short-term goals are to achieve financial independence, which I am working towards through scholarships and internships. Continue studying French to read Jules Verne and Simone de Beauvoir in their original language, and in the future earn THE DALF C1 certificate. As far as my academic goals, to continue filling my Engineering Project Portfolio from personal designs and internship work. Finally, maintain a high GPA and get accepted into the master’s degree program of my choice. 

Long-Term Goals

  • Earn a master’s degree in engineering.
  • Become part of the committee of a volunteer company run by engineers. Use my personal and professional experience in order to have a positive impact on the community.
  • Be fluent in five different languages.
  • Write and publish a few books; I would love to write both novels and engineering books.
  • Start a construction company with architects and engineers that share my vision: to design sustainable structures and innovative systems to provide a better future. 

Leadership Experience

  • President, Piensa Verde Environmental Consciousness Club
  • Founder, High School Studying and Tutoring Club
  • Captain, Volleyball Tea
Center for Leadership Academy Aimee Wucherer

Major and Graduation

Major and Graduation: Aerospace Engineering - May 2026

Short-Term Goals

My short-term goal is to intern in the aerospace engineering field over the summer.

Long-Term Goals

My long-term goal is to work for Lockheed Martin, designing airplanes after I graduate.

Leadership Experience

  • Team Lead IIT Rocketry
  • Grade Representative – Gaston Early College High School
  • Senior Hearing Board - Gaston Early College High School