Youth Innovation & Leadership Finalists

We are pleased to present this year's Youth & Innovation Leadership Finalists. This award is presented to a female junior or senior high school student who has demonstrated exceptional academic achievements in technology or science, or who has displayed inventiveness or creativity in said fields.

ANANYA AGGARWAL

Youth Innovation & Leadership Finalist

Occupation
Student
School
Glastonbury High School
Hometown
Glastonbury, CT
Passion
Ananya is passionate about biochemistry and aspires to pursue research and teaching as a professor.
Bio
Ananya is pursuing her passion for research and working on her third project at the University of Connecticut. She won 3rd place in the CSEF science fair for two consecutive years and organized a local educational walk on invasive species for Glastonbury citizens last May. She is president of her school’s Key Club and Science Olympiad, captain of the Chemistry Olympiad, and a National Merit Scholar.
Download poster (.pdf)
Request a printed poster for your school at woi@ccat.us.

MINA KIM

Youth Innovation & Leadership Finalist

Occupation
Student
School
Amity Regional High School
Hometown
Woodbridge, CT
Passion
Mina is researching gene expression levels in mouse models with diisocyanate asthma.
Bio
Mina is currently studying to become an engineer. In middle school, she developed a passion for science and dedicated time to science research. This allowed her to explore the different branches of science including environmental science, biomedical engineering, and internal medicine. In the community, Mina mentors younger students in STEM and volunteers at a community called Kkottongnae, which shelters and treats homeless people in Haiti.
Download poster (.pdf)
Request a printed poster for your school at woi@ccat.us.

LOLA KOVALSKI

Youth Innovation & Leadership Finalist

Occupation
Student
School
Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy
Hometown
Manchester, CT
Passion
Lola is passionate about expanding access to computer science education as a means of leveling the socioeconomic playing field.
Bio
Lola is as passionate about technology as she is with its implications on economic equality. To date, she has taught over one hundred female students from Hartford how to code through her non-profit ITgirl, testified on behalf of transformative educational bills, and helped to expand Girls Who Code clubs throughout the city of Hartford. She looks forward to continuing her advocacy work at Williams College.
Download poster (.pdf)
Request a printed poster for your school at woi@ccat.us.

AUDREY LARSON

Youth Innovation & Leadership Finalist

Occupation
Student
School
Wallingford Public Schools
Hometown
Wallingford, CT
Passion
Audrey plans to major in either materials science engineering or biomedical engineering in college.
Bio
Audrey has been inventing since 4th grade. She has patents pending which solve problems in the areas of climate change and school safety. She serves on the Wallingford STEM Town Committee and the Connecticut Invention Convention Board of Directors. Audrey is passionate about engineering and introducing young kids to STEM.  She mentors children in music, plays the tuba, and is in the STEM and Environmental clubs at her school.
Download poster (.pdf)
Request a printed poster for your school at woi@ccat.us.

MEGHAN OGRINZ

Youth Innovation & Leadership Finalist

Occupation
Student
School
Joel Barlow High School
Hometown
Easton, CT
Passion
Meghan is exploring future career options in biomedical engineering and computer science.
Bio
Meghan is driven to protect nature through research and innovation. She is a board member of Maker Faire Connecticut and co-captain of Barlow’s Sikorsky engineering team. She has volunteered 150+ hours at Norwalk Maritime Aquarium and is a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver trained in reef restoration. Meghan is designing 3D printable coral nursery structures and researching the ability of mucus to trap micropollutants. Meghan will pursue biomedical engineering and computer science studies.
Download poster (.pdf)
Request a printed poster for your school at woi@ccat.us.

SOPHIA WANG

Youth Innovation & Leadership Winner

Occupation
Student
School
Amity Regional High School
Hometown
Woodbridge, CT
Passion
Sophia hopes to pursue civil and environmental engineering and aspires to not only engineer innovative solutions, but also to create effective public policy in STEM.
Bio
Sophia is currently an undergraduate at MIT and is passionate about combining innovative engineering with effective public policy. For the past four years, she created sinkhole detection systems for at-risk communities and researched at Yale University and Columbia University. In her community, Sophia serves as a mentor for students in STEM, a youth volunteer leader at the Yale New Haven Hospital, and an intern at her local fire department.
Download poster (.pdf)
Request a printed poster for your school at woi@ccat.us.

MELISSA WOO

Youth Innovation & Leadership Finalist

Occupation
Student
School
Greenwich High School
Hometown
Riverside, CT
Passion
Melissa is passionate about finding ways to apply computing and technology to address societal needs.
Bio
Melissa’s research investigates smartphone-based quantitative detection of melanoma through analysis of thermal regeneration. She is dedicated to helping others through her nonprofit, STEM For All, where she teaches local computer programming classes, and Girls with Impact, where she mentors girls interested in entrepreneurship. At school, Melissa is the president of Girls Who Code and the Economics Club.