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Alyssa is a high school junior at The Buckley School and strongly represents a young woman who aspires to be a prominent leader in science, engineering, and technology. As one of only five girls on the Buckley robotics team in her freshman year, she didn't have a strong female role model to look up to. Now as a junior, Alyssa tries every day to embody the role model she wishes she had as a freshman and tries to encourage and support other girls in STEM. Though as a freshman she had no prior knowledge of engineering-oriented technologies, she was determined to find a way to contribute to the team her first year. Alyssa wrote business proposals, sent sponsorship emails, drafted grant submissions, and cold-called donors and sponsors which gained Alyssa the respect and recognition of her peers and mentors in Buckley robotics. Since then, Alyssa has learned parts of Java and Arduino that founded her understanding of electronics and programming in robotics; she also learned CAD in order to give the team a computerized, three-dimensional representation of the robot on which to conduct trial and errors. Over the course of next two years, Alyssa not only became Buckley's first female robotics captain in the team's 12 years in existence, but she also received a FIRST Robotics Dean's list finalist award, where she became the first Buckley student to attend the FIRST Robotics World Championship in St. Louis, Missouri in 2015. She was incredibly honored, humbled, and thrilled for her efforts to be recognized nationally and by her own robotics family. Alyssa’s goals for her last two years at Buckley included going back to St. Louis and winning the award, actively encouraging girls to participate in STEM, founding a FIRST Lego League team in Buckley's lower school, and paving a way for girls to step into leadership roles in Buckley robotics. In addition to robotics, while attending Buckley, Alyssa has been a part of student government, JSA (Junior Statesmen of America), mock trial, pre-med club, varsity sports including basketball, softball and volleyball as well as a member of the National Honor Society at Buckley. Alyssa’s leadership positions in each of these activities has led her to look into selective schools with a focus on science and industry leadership, such as MIT, Caltech, Stanford and more. Alyssa’s goal is to attend a great college and focus on improving her depth and breadth of knowledge in STEM fields as well as participate as a leader in many extracurricular activities. As Alyssa searches and reviews potential colleges, she looks to have a big role in leadership on her college campus in STEM activities and in organizations such as NCWIT or SWE (Society of Women Engineers) in order to strengthen the community of women in STEM fields. The community of women in STEM and its growth is very important to Alyssa, as she owes many of her successes and inspiration in STEM activities to the encouragement from one of her great mentors, Dr. Aidyl Gonzalez. Dr. Gonzalez came to Buckley in 2013, the same year Alyssa became a freshman. Together, they've worked tirelessly to embody strong role models for girls on campus, ranging from kindergarteners to seniors; encouraging girls by proactively creating opportunities for girls in STEM. In the future, Alyssa would love to continue working to create more of these opportunities for young women in STEM fields, as well as enjoying, improving and learning more about her own interests in the world of STEM.