Kaila became president of the STEMpowerment Club at Valencia High School. Each week during the school year and summer, she and the other members of the club went to the Brea and Yorba Linda Boys and Girls Clubs to organize science experiments and teach computer techniques to children of various ages.
The STEMpowerment Club is the only club that offers a 100% student-run internship to students in the school's Tech Academy. Kaila is spending her summer running this internship, four days a week, mentoring 5 interns.
Among the many experiments, a few include reactions with dry ice, building catapults out of rubber bands and popsicle sticks, constructing models of DNA and cells out of candy, and even growing bean plants.
The Tech Classes have allowed students to learn the fundamentals of computer software including iMovie and GarageBand. The students are able to create original content and share with their friends at the Boys and Girls Club.
Through STEMpowerment, Kaila and her team have been able to give children of lower income families access to hands-on science. Due to budget cuts in schools and the lessening of science experiments, Kaila has helped to expand the opportunities available to many students.
Teaching children concepts that relate to Biology, Chemistry, and Physics is important and Kaila believes that these kids gain a love for science in the STEM-driven society which we live in today. Whether it be through inspiring them to pursue a certain career, helping them pay better attention in their science classes, or just becoming a highlight of their day, Kaila's goal with STEM is to impact youth and empower them in any way she can.
Whenever Kaila arrived to the Boys and Girls Clubs, the kids would run up to her, give her hugs, and ask what experiment she had planned for them that day, all while exclaiming, "Yay, STEM!"
As a club that's been established since 2013, STEMpowerment has received recognition from the Brea Rotary Club as well as former member of California State Assembly, Ling Ling Chang.
STEMpowerment means so much to Kaila, because it has allowed her to create irreplaceable relationships and connections to the unique and amazing kids at the Clubs. When she reflects back on her years in STEM, it has been amazing for Kaila to witness all of the kids grow and mature, while becoming more STEM-aware and STEM-oriented individuals.
Kaila's professional goal is to become either a Pediatrician or a Neurologist.