Seniors Grace and Paolo Celebrated at First STEM “Signing Day” Sponsored by Air Force Research Lab

Students committed to pursuing careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Mathematics, Engineering) fields were celebrated at Hotel Albuquerque yesterday with the first “STEM Signing Day.” The STEM Employers Network partnered with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to host the celebration.

The event was designed to recognize and honor high school seniors from around the Albuquerque metro area as they make their commitments to continuing education programs focusing on STEM. It emulates signing days typically held for athletes and shines a light on the importance of careers in STEM fields as talent in these areas is in high demand locally and nationally.

Seniors Grace and Paolo were among the Albuquerque-area students who participated in the event by signing “letters of intent” to their chosen STEM fields.

“When I was younger, I didn't think that being smart was cool,” said Paolo. “As I matured, I met people who encouraged me to learn more and be proud of my intellectual curiosity. Because of those people, I know that I will seek knowledge for the rest of my life. It's my honor to take part in this event, and I hope that by doing so, I encourage others to also be proud of their interest in science and technology.

Paolo will attend the University of Colorado at Boulder and plans to major in Computer Science and minor in Mathematics.

Grace says she’s still exploring the specific STEM area she’ll study when she attends Barnard College in the fall, but noted that biology is high on her list as she hopes to eventually work on the research side of medicine.

“It’s great that there’s an opportunity to appreciate and commend people who are committed to STEM fields,” she said. “These areas are so important. It also shows others that STEM is a cool thing to do."