At HackSchool, we know that opportunities change lives. Two HackSchool students and I visited the White House last April and met with a Senior Advisor to Obama in the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
This past Monday, Anahi, a student on the HackSchool Leadership and Social Innovation Team was invited back to the White House as a White House Kid Science Advisor. Read more about this, and hear what Anahi had to say, in this Washington Post article! Anahi will be in a meeting with the head of NASA, head of the National Science Foundation, and Obama's direct Advisor on Science and Technology. Check out her invitation:
Over the past several months, after Obama's announcement, the Administration has sifted through thousands of submissions from students to join his the President as his Kid Science Advisors. The White House selected 11 students from around the country, and one of them is Anahi.
When Anahi joined HackSchool, she was very soft-spoken and had trouble advocating for herself at school. Through hard work on her project (a "smart" can for blind people), she got deeper into our work at HackSchool and applied for the HackSchool Leadership Team trip to Indianapolis and Washington DC last year. With room for only two student leaders, competition was fierce.
During her application interviews, I made it clear that this trip would involve public speaking under conditions that would overwhelm most adults, and she said that her voice was something she wanted to work hard to improve. Read the previous link for details, but I can unequivocally say that the experiences were a staggering success.
Now, Anahi will be making her second trip for a meeting at the White House this year as a Kid Science Advisor to the President of the United States. There are a number of personal details about her life story that I will not tell here in public, but believe me when I say this: the fact that the White House has asked to use her voice to represent an entire country students is as unlikely a story as any I could imagine.
HackSchool is not about giving students things, it's about creating opportunities for students to make things. In a very real way, Anahi has used these opportunities to create her future...and in a way that most of us could never dream of.
Congratulations, Anahi! I can't wait to post an update after you've met with some of the most powerful people in the world! Seriously...wow...
In case you missed it the first time, check out this short snippet of Anahi talking about her dreams: