Lake Chelan High School Student Gets Apple STEM Network Award
A Lake Chelan High School senior is being honored as the 2023 Apple STEM Network Rising Star.
Natalie Vazquez is one of 10 STEM Rising Star Award winners across the state.
Apple STEM Network Co-director Dr. Sue Kane says Vazquez is establishing a trend with the award.
"For the second year in a row, it's going to a Lake Chelan High School student," said Kane. "So, there's something pretty special going on up there at Lake Chelan High School."
Olivia Strandberg was the 2022 Rising Star for the Apple region, which represents Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Okanogan counties..
The STEM Rising Star Award celebrate high school students who identify as girls or young women that actively embrace STEM education.
STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Kane says the honors are meant to boost woman, who are underrepresented in high paying STEM industry jobs.
"We know, here in North Central Washington for example, that only three percent of our tech workforce are Latina, Hispanic females," Kane said. "But 26 percent of our population are Latina, or Hispanic."
Vazquez and the nine other STEM Rising Star winners will each receive $500 and be honored at a special awards ceremony in November.
They’ll visit the Microsoft campus headquarters in Redmond where there will be a special luncheon with a chance to visit with representatives in the STEM industries in what Dr. Kane refers to as a state STEM summit.
Vazquez was nominated for the Apple STEM honor by her Agriculture Education Teacher, Mrs. Slagel at Lake Chelan High School.
She plans to attend Washington State University or the University of Washington with an ambition to eventually make a positive impact in the medical field.
Vazquez currently serves as the Vice President of the Chelan Med Club and has been elected as the President for the upcoming year.
She has also a job shadowing opportunity with Columbia Valley Community Health, where she works directly with physicians twice a week. In addition, Vazquez is arranging to shadow Lifeline Ambulance to further expand her understanding of healthcare services.