Sparking Interest in Science
Alyssa found that students lose interest in science early on due to
lack of engagement in the classroom. To address this issue, she
wrote The Art and Science of Influenza––a book that uses art
to educate students about infection, immunity, and vaccines. Working
with artists, scientists, and Coronado Middle School faculty, Alyssa
created a lasting curriculum that is now used by multiple educators to
engage students in science from an artistic perspective.
To help mitigate the fact that many elderly feel undervalued and
disconnected from their communities, Olivia interviewed 40 seniors at
Cypress Court Escondido and Brookdale San Marcos. She then created
personalized booklets showcasing each of their unique stories. Olivia
demonstrated genuine interest in her subjects, and they took great
pride in the process. After making the booklets, she held “pass-back”
gatherings, where she gave the books of stories to the residents. To
sustain her efforts, she left an instructional guide with each
facility to ensure the project is repeatable.
Patient Voices United
Newly diagnosed patients with tuberculosis are medically isolated at
a time when they need human contact the most. To provide comfort and
support, Bryn created a booklet of letters written by TB survivors to
be given out in welcome packets for new patients. Bryn found that not
only are these letters empowering for the patients, but to the
survivors as well, because they were able to share their experiences
Saving Our Bees
Helen created a three-lesson educational class about bees and the
environment for kids in fourth and fifth grade. Helen was a longtime
member of 4-H beekeeping, and the steady decline of bee population
inspired her to share her love of bees. Helen posted her lessons on
the San Diego Beekeeping Society’s website so that others can use the
lessons for years to come.
Pop Up Shoe Shop
To provide an uplifting experience for homeless women and children,
Emma developed a program at the San Diego Rescue Mission’s Emergency
Shelter. She opened a “Pop Up Shoe Shop,” where residents shopped for
quality socks and shoes at no cost. Emma encouraged local elementary
and high school students to take action. She created a PSA Video about
homelessness. The program will continue on at Emma’s high school.
Water Wise Landscaping
Isabella created Next Generation Science Standard curriculum to
promote water conservation validated by her high school’s Garden Club,
planned a workshop on the connection between personal outside water
use and habitat preservation, and designed a website focused on San
Diego County’s habitats. She inspired homeowners to change their yards
to save water and preserve San Diego's native ecosystems.
Healthy Food Choices Project
After listening to the concerns from the principle of Nativity Prep
Academy about student diets consisting mainly of chips and sugary
snacks, Jessica partnered with the nursing students from the
University of San Diego to educate the sixth-grade class on the
importance and consequences of healthy and nutritional diets. Through
several presentations, Jessica gave low income families simple and
affordable ways to maintain a healthy diet. The PowerPoint
presentation she used will be passed onto incoming middle schoolers to
continue the spread of knowledge.
Emergency Awareness, Disaster Preparedness
Through engaging workshops, Adhiti taught others how to stay safe
during natural disasters. Focusing on the most vulnerable—seniors and
children grades 4-10—she implemented her lesson plans at schools, Girl
Scout troops, and community centers in San Diego. Adhiti has also
released her lesson plans online, which can be used by anyone
preparing for a natural disaster.
Laura taught elementary school children and their parents the
importance of being safe around the pool in order to avoid accidental
drowning or injury. Laura's project will continue to impact the lives
of those she taught and future students at the elementary schools.
Outdoor Learning Gardens
Alyssa created an alternative learning environment for elementary
age students at Stone Ranch Elementary School in 4S Ranch. Despite
technological advancements in our world today, Alyssa wanted to teach
students how to become more engaged in their outdoor environment
rather than solely relying on technology. Alyssa engaged with multiple
age groups and a variety of teachers within the school. Students and
staff will continue to care for and maintain the gardens that were
created at the elementary school.
Writing the Way to Reality
Angelina hosted a series of workshops on subjects like character,
dialogue, tone, setting, and self-publishing that all targeted
educating high school students on how to write creatively for
application beyond school. This will be continued through writing
communities already within the school system, sustaining the legacy of
what lies beyond the realm of public education.
Cadence created an anti-human trafficking curriculum which addressed
the lack of information on human trafficking for individuals and
nonprofit entities such as Safe House Project. Her workshops educated
people on human trafficking scenarios, explanations, and statistics,
as well as how to prevent it. She hopes to establish an anti-human
trafficking curriculum as a requirement for UC school educators and
students on a semester basis.
How To Survive and Thrive In High School
Using the insight of middle school counselors and her own
experiences, Caytre created twelve high school readiness workshops to
educate eighth graders district-wide about how to academically and
socially thrive in high school. She also published handbooks on the
three middle schools' websites, as a sustainable tool for eighth
graders to learn about the aspects of their future high school
Veronica Louise Edwards
Project Lady Business
Veronica tackled the lack of feminine products in homeless shelters
and impoverished areas around San Diego and Mexico. She provided
homeless women with the resources they needed to be able to get
through their periods without worrying about finding sanitary
products. Veronica enlisted younger girls to help put together the
bags while teaching them about the importance of the topic. She also
created an informational brochure..
Healthy Choices, Happy Life
Siena addressed the nationwide need for nutrition education for
youth. Many kids don’t understand that the food they put in the bodies
affect their health or that it is possible to make affordable, healthy
food choices. She primarily helped educate families with young
children ages 5-12, who learned new affordable recipes and the
importance of eating nutritious snacks and meals.
My Life, My Story
"My Life, My Story" tied together the community and
performance art, and addressed the lack of an intergenerational
connection. She and drama student volunteers spent a day interviewing
seniors at the City of Carlsbad Senior Center. Then, Belle created a
script that was performed by the students. A video of "My Life,
My Story" is available on the Senior Center’s website to keep the
Geological Education Box
Katelyn created a hands-on educational tool—a box displaying fossils
of extinct species, crystals from around the world, fluorescent
minerals, and local specimens—in her community to interest younger
kids in geology. She also founded the Gem and Mineral club at her high
school to encourage geology excitement among her peers. With help from
the El Cajon Valley Lapidary Society, Katelyn’s box will continue
spreading knowledge through school visits, Girl Scouting programs, and
Courage in STEM
To improve access, confidence, and courage in STEM, Cece promoted
these subjects to K-12 girls by creating an original STEM curriculum
for workshops hosted at libraries, low-income communities, and
internationally in Paraguay. Cece also organized a “STEMposium” where
successful women in STEM discussed their careers. Poway High’s Society
of Women in engineering will carry this mission into the future.
Social Justice Club
To combat the lack of education about social justice issues that
exists among high school students, Maya started a club at Westview
High School. At meetings, she created an open space for students to
discuss controversial issues. She shared information on the club
Instagram, @wvsocialjustice, which will be taken over by a current junior.
Jordan researched and developed an elementary school curriculum for
students to articulate their personal stories through a series of
social and emotional lessons. She named the project "Community
Book." The student-centered portfolios were a bridge to sharing
personal things about themselves to their peers in order to gain
empathy and build their classroom community. “Community Book” is a
sustainable written curriculum that will be used by the 4th grade team
at Park Dale Lane Elementary School yearly. It will also be provided
to the eight other schools in the Encinitas Union School District as
part of an ongoing effort to foster the Social Emotional health of
Injury Prevention Program for Dancers
Ashley created an injury awareness and wellness program for dancers.
She held presentations for dancers ages 6-18 on how to take care of
their bodies to decrease preventable dancing injuries. Presentations
also included advice on stretching, nutrition, and rest..
CCA Engineering Outreach Club
Isabel created a new club at her high school to educate middle
school students about various advanced engineering topics. With this
education, students became more passionate about engineering and
wanting to pursue STEM fields in the future.
Match Point: Tennis Across the Border
Brianna Heinken developed a program to introduce the sport of tennis
to children at an orphanage in Tijuana. The participants learned about
basic techniques and drills. During breaks, they enjoyed snacks and
nutritional lessons. Based on the program’s success, caretakers at the
orphanage and local students will continue to conduct it.
Adopt a Fur-ever Friend
Rachel tackled the issue of homeless cats and kittens in Mexico by
hosting a series of adoption events and educational workshops. Rachel
partnered with Kahoots Pets Supply, Unleashed by Petco at multiple
locations, and Grossmont mall. Her project will have a lasting impact
in the community; the Baja Cantu Animal Rescue shelter she partnered
with will continue to host adoption events.
Outdoor Art Club
Paige combined her love of art, the outdoors, and psychology to
start an outdoor art club for teens at Helix Charter High School. The
objective was to spread the message that the combination of green
exercise plus the emotional outlet afforded to teens in artistic
expression is a healthy and effective way to improve self-esteem and
Music Treble in Elementary Schools
After elementary music programs were threatened to be cut, Julianne
promoted music education in the University City community. She
recruited her high school classmates to teach elementary students at
monthly band and orchestra clinics. Julianne also raised money to buy
12 music stands and collected 30 method books for the students, who
were inspired to practice more and pursue music in middle school.
Julianne’s volunteers will sustain her program beyond her involvement.
Working with Wells Fargo and the nonprofit VentureLab, Cady created
a free summer program that integrated entrepreneurship and financial
literacy into one unique curriculum for elementary and middle school
students. She set up a booth at a STEM festival, held two three-day
long workshops, and worked with junior Girl Scout troops to help them
achieve the product designer badge. Her project will be continued
through lesson plans Cady provided to elementary school teachers in
Community Library Box
Sydney addressed literacy within a lower-income community where book
access is limited due to financial and transportation issues. Sydney
partnered with La Mirada Academy, a K-8 school, to build and install a
community library box. She enlisted Hometown Realty to collect 400+
books. La Mirada continues to replenish the box with books and she
shared her plans with missionaries in Mexico.
Jade Marie Ingham
Jade created a mentoring club named Life Skills Club at her
Fallbrook high school. She realized that many schools don't have
resources or classes that would provide students with essential life
skills and knowledge necessary in adulthood, like budgeting and filing
taxes. Through her weekly club meetings, after-school workshops, and
presentations local high school seniors, she made a lasting impact for
the young adults in her community. Her club and lesson plans will be
handed down and taught even after her graduation..
Rosanna's Community Bookshelf
To combat the decline of leisure reading and sense of community in a
technology-dependent society, Rosanna established “Rosanna’s Community
Bookshelf” at Lemon Grove Community Garden. The community bookshelf
encourages visitors to “take a book and leave a book.” Due to the
Coronavirus pandemic, Rosanna held virtual presentations on the
importance of reading and how it can help the community during the
struggles of social distancing..
Critical Aid Relief Effort (C.A.R.E.)
Serena created an educational campaign at La Jolla High School to
educate students on how to be safe in natural disasters called
Critical Aid Relief Effort (C.A.R.E.). She hosted events to teach
survival and planning techniques, held a clothing drive around her
school to send to other students, and helped implement and maintain a
water bottle refill station on campus..
Bridging the STEM Gender Gap at a Young Age
Jeyan noticed a discrepancy in the number of females compared to
males in STEM, stemming from negative interactions at a young age. She
created an afterschool program in collaboration with Francis Parker
Lower School that engaged young boys and girls, ages 5-10, in STEM
through an interactive, collaborative curriculum in which students
learned to work together and respect one another..
Speak Out! is an educational project with a goal to spread mental
health awareness and decrease stigma among teenagers. Jamie worked
with high school and middle school students to change the negative
connotation around mental health into a topic that is acceptable to
discuss. She focused on normalizing imperfection and highlighted
support resources that are available for students.
Sense the Change
As an autism advocate, Cammy created a sensory room to support the
overall well-being and daily progress of the students she supports.
The room at Vista High School is filled with creative seating, a
custom sensory board, and interactive stations. Future classes of
students are free to use the room to manage their own needs.
Keeping It Straight
Riya educated teenagers and adults about the importance of having
proper posture and exercising every day. She led classes, in-person
and on Zoom, to teach simple back and core exercises that can help
improve posture. Riya has created and posted different exercise videos
on her YouTube channel, as well as promoted a healthy lifestyle
through her blog.
Saving our Barn Owls
Mikayla created educational kits for schools that included a
presentation and activities to teach students about secondary
poisoning, especially in owls. She partnered with Wildlife Research
Institute, teachers, and Master Gardeners across the country, and
worked event booths at Hawk Watch and other festivals to educate
attendees. Mikayla's kits are reproducible, reusable, and available
online, keeping her project sustainable.
Follow the Signs
Mia implemented an ASL club at the San Diego School of Creative and
Performing Arts to bring awareness to the hearing community about
communication barriers that exist in the deaf and hard of hearing
community. Mia’s club targeted students and staff at her school. Going
further, this club will educate and impact current and future students
to inform others and celebrate this culture.
Unified Cheerleading Program at South Bay Schools
Ashley led an inclusive cheerleading camp for students in the
Sweetwater Union High School District to increase awareness and
participation in Unified Sports, a Special Olympics program which
combines individuals with and without intellectual disabilities on the
same team. The project was designed to show that there are meaningful
ways for people of all abilities to participate in sports..
Teaching Sign Language to Specials Ed Kids
Makayla taught American Sign Language (ASL) to disabled children to
help better their communication with their parents and others. In
order to address a wider community, she created a YouTube channel with
informational videos to inspire other people to learn.
A Step Towards the End of Pollution
Molly addressed the issue of pollution in her community by
partnering with One San Diego and setting up an informational booth at
their “We Have Your Back” backpack events. She educated children about
the effects of pollution, called them to take action, and engaged them
through a recycled craft project. She shared her lesson plans so
future groups can learn about her project.
Use Your Voice, Use Your Vote
Summer McGuckin worked with Rock the Vote to hold voter registration
workshops for high schoolers. To increase voter turnout and educate
students on political issues, she founded an activism club and
organized various events. Over 1,200 students participated in these
events, and the club will continue to encourage further civic
engagement within the community
Project Happy Hearts
Sophia created a mindfulness course curriculum that addressed the
lack of emotional hygiene practices implemented into elementary
schools. She worked with students ages 6-18 through interactive
courses designed and led by students at High Tech High North County.
The courses included: exploring sensory calming techniques, practicing
yoga and meditation, and discussing the importance of building
relationships through compassion. She was able to create a lasting
syllabus that can be adapted to implement this program in elementary
schools in the future.
STEM Our Way
Allison was motivated to get girls interested in STEM at a young
age. She launched an educational program geared towards elementary
school girls where she taught engaging STEM activities at a local
school and within her Girl Scouts community. She also created an
online magazine for girls that featured women in STEM careers, as well
as experiments and fun facts..
Alyssa created a club at her high school called Super Bears, where
she taught students the lost art of sewing by hand. The students
learned to sew teddy bears, which were then donated to the Edmund D.
Edelman Children's Courthouse.
Masikhule Children Education
Samaya was dedicated to bettering the education of underprivileged
children in South Africa by helping kids below the poverty line
receive the educational tools they need to succeed. She created a club
called Books without Borders and educated its members on the
importance of education in that community. Her club will continue
beyond her involvement.
Lucia Perez Valles
Embrace our Community
After noticing that technology has decreased children’s creativity,
Lucia educated kids about putting aside their electronic devices. She
created the Embrace our Community project in San Ysidro. In partnering
with Casa Familiar, Lucia saw that the border city of Tijuana, Mexico,
had a similar problem, so she invented a bilingual project. Lucia
developed a telephone brochure, implemented 25 free workshops, and a
video to involve more than 500 children between the ages of 7-12. The
Embrace Our Community project will be maintained by Casa Familiar, who
continues to distribute and reproduce these materials..
Sister City Exchange Program
Wanting to increase cultural awareness among students and to make
travel affordable to all regardless of income, Hailey started a
student exchange program at her high school. She partnered the Sister
City Organization in San Diego and her group visited San Diego’s
Sister City in Alacala, Spain for two weeks. Students from Spain also
stayed with Hailey’s group in San Diego for two weeks.
Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Curriculum
Through an informational assembly, Lily educate students at her high
school about human trafficking through interactive role-play, true
stories, and statistics. The assembly will be held every two years at
Establishing a support group and practicing
healthy coping skills
To address the significance of mental health amongst teens,
Faith introduced healthy coping skills to teens in her community.
After observing that several teens made poor decisions when it came to
their coping strategies, she hosted an Aromatherapy and art workshop
as well as several other workshops. She continues to host workshops as
the need of support groups continue to grow.
First Aid Basics & Concussion
Prevention for Students
As an athlete and sports medicine student, Paige noticed that many
of her peers did not have knowledge about basic first aid or the signs
of concussions. She developed a presentation that addressed this issue
for a variety of students in 4th-12th grades. With the assistance of
local Girl Scout troops, Helix High School's sports medicine program,
La Mesa Fire Department, and the Sporting SD Soccer organization,
Paige provided hands-on education to many students. She also equipped
attendees with basic first aid kits and taught how to use them. Her
presentation, with speaker notes in simple terms, is available for
teaching this information..
Improving Alzheimer’s Patients’ Cognitive Skills
Shriya created useful activities and informational packets for
Alzheimer’s patients, caretakers, and families to use in order to
enhance their quality of life. She spent time engaging with the
patients at ActivCare to create a library and monthly activity that
would develop patients’ cognitive skills. Shriya measured the impact
of her project by surveying caretakers in both her community and India
to see how she’s helped families and raised awareness..
Building Confidence Through Color Guard
Annalisa encouraged confidence in middle school girls through color
guard performance with an after-school program at Bernardo Heights
Middle School. Partnering with high school coaches, she developed a
performance routine that they were able to take to competition for the
first time ever.
Working Towards Literacy
Victoria channeled her passion for the humanities and worked with
the Words Alive organization to develop curriculum and engaging
activities for underprivileged students in San Diego. She held
workshops at the North County Immigration Center to help immigrants
gain literacy skills and pass the citizenship test. In addition,
Victoria distributed books and lesson plans to immigrants in her
She Can Code (SCC)
Anika developed a computer science program which empowers girls to
explore computer science careers they would usually shy away from due
to complexity, and lack of support and role models. She created easy
to follow curriculum, led collaborative workshops for 4th to 12th
graders, and profiled women role models on the SCC site to inspire
students. The Del Norte Girls in Computer Science club will manage the
SCC in the years to come.
Helping OFNO Build Bond the Orphans
Erica’s worked at an orphanage in Tecate Mexico to grow community
and bonding among the children ages 3-12. She worked with the kids to
build a Gaga court, a large wooden octagon to play the game “Gaga” in.
Erica held two additional workshops with the kids to teach them about
recycling. She did two up cycling projects, creating wind spirals out
of water bottles, and bird feeders out of toilet paper rolls. Erica’s
church will help sustain her project, returning to the orphanage five
times per year.
Emma empowered future voters by teaching them how to use their
political power as young people and to register to vote with an
educational program and voter registration drives at school. Young
people, while the largest voting block, often have roadblocks to
voting, which Emma taught them how to navigate. She worked in
classrooms at Serra High School and with HeadCount at various
concerts. She will continue to make politics accessible to Gen Z
through her project’s Instagram page and as her lessons are taught to
her school’s students in the future..
Long Live the Monarchs
To educate on the monarch butterfly population, Eden created an
informative presentation that was shared with a community in Mexico,
local San Diego schools, and Girl Scout Troops. It includes
information on monarch butterflies, a monarch art project, a “how to
plant milkweed,” section, and an ornament inspired by monarchs to
enable a family discussion on monarch conservation.
Fun with Field Hockey
Courtney held clinics for elementary and middle school students to
bring awareness about field hockey. She worked with the Field Hockey
Coach from San Marcos High School and with USA Field Hockey for
equipment donations. Her project lead to the formation of the
non-profit Knights FHC, and now kids have the opportunity to play the
Introducing India and America
To address the lack of awareness of Indian culture in her community,
Reshini held 24 workshops in San Diego that taught various aspects of
Indian culture and facilitated two workshops in India that taught
different aspects of American culture. The workshops in San Diego
consisted of kids from ages 5-10 from the ESS programs in the PUSD
district. The workshops done in India consisted of underprivileged
children ages 6-16 years old. To sustain her project, each workshop
presentation was sent to the schools she worked with so they could
have the content to use for future presentations.
Making 3D Printers More Accessible Through Education
Anna saw that the Elementary Institute of Science, an institution
whose purpose is to teach STEM courses in a fun, interactive way, had
four 3D printers but weren't using them because staff members didn't
know how. She developed a STEM educational program by creating three
different types of pamphlets and a website to help kids learn how to
Voter Registration Awareness
Crystalinda hosted an educational workshop that taught youth how to
register/pre-register to vote. She worked at her high school, church,
and her Girl Scout troop in collaboration with the League of Women
Voters San Diego. She also created a YouTube video that will be shown
in future classes at her high school.
Feeding Hearts, Souls and Mouths
To build a philanthropic youth program, Valerie organized and
connected teens with volunteer opportunities to serve homeless,
low-income, and food insecure populations.
To combat feelings of loneliness and isolation at assisted living
facilities, Arden partnered with her local Brookdale Assisted Living
Facility in Del Mar and St. John’s Catholic School in Encinitas to
bridge the gap between kindergarten students and senior citizens. The
students learned craft making and spent time with the seniors,
creating a bond and a sense of belonging and community.
Champion for STEM Diversity to Bridge the Gender Gap
Madalyn championed STEM Diversity by addressing girls’
underrepresentation and minorities in STEM. She founded the Society of
Women Engineer Club at her school and was awarded $1,000 to create the
FIRST Annual Girls in STEM Inspiration Day. She facilitated and
managed over 100 outreach activities, mentored 10 FIRST robotics
teams, presented at conferences, and developed the FIRST Annual Women
in STEM Day in Poway. Madalyn is a role model and advocate for girls
in STEM locally and globally.