Elizabeth Tong – President Interview
Our president, Lizzie, acts as the face of the team. She helps departments and majorly aids in the facilitation of communication between departments.
Elizabeth states that this program is excellent in opening doors not only for her, but for all students. It allows everyone an equal opportunity to gain valuable scholarships, internships, and life skills. In addition to these exciting opportunities, Lizzie has gained many leadership and public speaking skills acting as the president this year and a department leader in the prior year.
Elizabeth describes three types of teams she has seen in her experience. Older, honored teams with a defined structure that acts as an example for others; well known teams in which the mentors do all of the work; and then rookie teams who are just trying to get their name out there. Lizzie describes our team as one unique from these three categories due to us being a fairly new team with a defined structure.
Speaking on student leadership, it is important to our team as it allows students to set themselves up for success. Mentors rarely do anything for the students, rather they allow students to decide the best option to take. This way students are able to learn by doing, accessing both their successes and failures. Those students who act as leaders are the ones who gain the most out of our student leadership aspects, as they gain valuable life and leadership experience that is priceless in today’s world.
Being involved in the community has allowed our team to grow much more than we assumed we would. Our community has made great strides in creating more STEM programs and facilities due to our influence. The way in which we interact with younger students in our community instills the importance of STEM education before high school. Eventually, our community outreach programs will allow our team to expand and grow as we gain more attention and momentum.