I'm Kate Boydston, member of Louisville's Class of 2018. Louisville High School has given me more wonderful experiences and opportunities than I can count, but the most influential of these to me have been related to the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. When I first stepped onto this gorgeous campus I knew that science was my favorite subject, but had never given a second thought about the rest of the fields included in STEM. Through the STEM Focus Program, various clubs, and impeccable classes and teachers, I have grown to love each aspect of STEM, and have been given the means to take my next steps in pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.
The Focus Program is a program unique to Louisville that allows students to delve deeper into a certain field of interest through inspirational speakers, job shadowing opportunities, field trips, and workshops. As a participant in the STEM focus program I have had several wonderful job shadowing experiences that have allowed me to start the process of deciding which professions spark my interest. For example, I have been fortunate enough to shadow an engineer for the Department of Water and Power. I got to visit many different sites with him, learn how pipes that carry water to entire cities are maintained, and helped him catalogue dozens of pipes in many different locations. Before this experience, when I turned on a faucet I only saw a stream of water that magically appeared, but now I see a possible future career. In addition, I went on a personal tour of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. It was truly inspiring to be in the mission control room and the facility where they test various equipment and machines to see if they can withstand space. Furthermore, I shadowed an architect for a day who showed me that there is a way to combine my interest in engineering and my hobby of architecture study into one career, something I had not realized is possible. I would never have been able to experience all of these events without the Focus Program.
There are also many clubs on campus that relate to specific areas. My favorite clubs include the Math Club, Engineering Club, and Science and Technology Club because I am able to enjoy my favorite subjects with others who are just as passionate about them as I am.
Extracurriculars are important, but the real inspiration and learning takes place through the teachers and their classrooms. Louisville allows you to pursue your true interests, which for me meant taking two science classes last year and three this year. All of my classes have been very small in size, for example only two students including myself in AP Chemistry and only four in AP Biology and AP Physics. Because of these small sizes there is more one on one student teacher interaction, giving me all the support I could possibly want.
As the end of my high school experience looms nearer, I have come to think of my time here as a series of moments. My moments range from times I laughed, cried, smiled, struggled, and most importantly, succeeded. This community has taught me to reach for the stars, even in a world where the star I want, an engineering career, is heavily male dominated. Louisville has provided me with every tool I need to build my future, and soon enough it will be time for me, and my graduating class, to go out into the world beyond the Senior Lawn. Louisville High School is a place where students, such as myself, find empowerment, support, a second family, and the means to reach the greatest of dreams.