Written by volunteer writer Amy Freeman
A few weeks ago, we touched base with some of the members of the Teen Advisory Board (TAB) to see what the past year has been like for them. This week, we’re bringing you some more stories from the remaining member of the board. Check out what the TAB has been doing this past year and over the summer!
Puneetha Mallarapu jumped into her first year of high school with enthusiasm. At the start of the year, she explored several different clubs, and ended up joining the Key Club, a volunteering and service-focused group. She was also a member of the Cary Teen Council and the Teen Leadership Corps at her local library. She studies Bharatanatyam, a form of Indian classical dance, and has been doing so for 10 years.
During her first year as a member of the TAB, Puneetha served as a TA twice and wrote a blog post sharing her experience as a volunteer. Being on the board also helped her grow as a leader and develop her communication, time management and organizational skills. She encourages any potential TAB members to think about what they want to get out of the experience. “Joining TAB would just be a great opportunity to make friendships, learn more, and grow as an individual,” she says.
At the start of her junior year, Lucy Minchoff transferred into the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at her school. Some of the IB classes she took included chemistry, environment, and engineering. She went on a few college visits but switched to virtual tours at the start of quarantine. This year was also the third year that she was a member of the Sustainable Advancement Society. At the end of the year, the graduating seniors handed off the leadership of the society to Lucy.
This was the second year that Lucy was part of the TAB. “I love seeing how much TAB has grown,” she says, “both with the number of girls on it and with the things we’ve been able to accomplish.” Some of her accomplishments this past year include teaching a Makey-Makey workshop and teaching a virtual Designing Mobile Apps workshop. Her advice to other girls is simple: “Join TAB!”
Amelie just wrapped up her sophomore year, during which she took AP Computer Science A and was on her school’s FIRST robotics team. The team had two months to build and program a robot for the annual challenge in March. Their robot took home the Chairman’s Award, the top prize for the competition. Thanks to their win, they qualified for the world championship.
Amelie has used her skills and interest in robotics during her tenure on the TAB. She taught the ORCS Girls robotics class and taught an online robotics summer camp. “I would highly recommend joining the TAB because it’s exciting to work towards getting other girls involved in technology,” she says. “It’s also really inspiring to be involved in a community of other girls who support and encourage each other to be involved with technology.”
Lauren Phillips focused on taking on more leadership roles during her junior year of high school. She was the junior class treasurer, served as a school ambassador, was the co-president of the Spanish club, and the manager of the varsity basketball team. She also taught first-year and sophomore students on the robotics team how to program the robot. Since she’s nearing the end of her high school career, she also spent much of her junior year researching universities and studying.
In her roles as a TAB member, Lauren hosted a workshop at her school, something she’d long wanted to do. The workshop was such a success that both she and the school look forward to hosting another one. Lauren describes the work that she and her fellow board members do as “rewarding because in every workshop you see the girls grow and gain confidence in their ability to create. In every girl you see yourself and it makes the experience fun and memorable for everyone.”
Sarah Ridley is another volleyball fan on the TAB. This year, she played club volleyball, sand volleyball, and on her school’s varsity team, which won second place in the independent schools division in the state tournament. In addition to playing volleyball, Sarah is a member of her school’s robotics team, which was a District Finalist and also took home the Innovation in Control award. During the summer, she’s taking online Spanish classes to help give her a leg up for AP Spanish once the school year begins.
As a member of the TAB, Sarah has TAed workshops this past year and has gained some insight into her role and place in the STEM community. Through teaching and working with the other members, she’s learned a lot of new skills while having fun.
There is still time to become a part of the 2020-2021 Teen Advisory Board. Apply Today! (Deadline: September 20th)