Division Avenue High School seniors Holly Dukacz and Brandon Smith explored paths that would lead to a possible career during the summer as they attended a three-day National Leadership Academy. Holly participated in the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders while Brandon participated in the Congress of Future Medical Leaders. Both students received an official Award of Excellence, certifying a completion of the Congress.
The National Leadership Academies give driven high school students around the country the opportunity to hear from experts in their desired future career path. The experience provides guidance and a variety of skills. Holly, who has career interests in cybersecurity, game development and pharmaceuticals, stayed at the University of Massachusetts, made friends from across the country who were also interested in science and heard from motivational speakers who spoke about topics such as 3D printing for prosthesis, artificial intelligence and virtual reality, space exploration, paleontology, oceanography and more. Some speakers also provided tips for applying to college including how to write a college essay and begin the Common App. Holly is grateful for the opportunity.
"I was really inspired listening to all the speakers at the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists," she said. "I learned so much by attending and was introduced to so many career options I didn't know were possible. The Congress has helped me narrow down my career choices and has motivated me to put in all of my effort into everything I do."
Brandon attended the Congress of Future Medical Leaders. With his sights set on a career as an oncologist one day, Brandon had the opportunity to witness a live operation during the Congress and attended several motivating lectures from prestigious medical professionals and medical school academic leaders.
"This solidified my desire to be a doctor," he said. "Everyone was motivated in a different way. It was great to meet new people with the same goals."