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Doerksen at the 2022 SciTech FestivalI have been a Chief Science Officer for seven years. I was elected towards the end of my fifth-grade year and attended Leadership Training Institute in the summer of 2016. Now, I am a senior at Verrado High School in Buckeye.      

Throughout my involvement in CSO, I have had many exciting action plans that increased STEM awareness. Some years, I stuck with one. Other years, I had help from fellow CSOs at my school to collaborate and create many action plans. My eighth-grade year included action plans such as creating a field trip for the fifth graders, inviting SUNI the robot to be a guest speaker, and hosting hands-on STEMonstrations with elementa-ry students. One of my favorite action plans was one that I started last year.      

I helped to found my school’s Green Hand Club. We are a garden club on campus that focuses on horticulture and environmentalism. Every week, we would water our plants and discuss club expansion. I was able to use my passion for video making to create weekly update videos. The videos have accumulated over 35 thousand views on Instagram and we have grown to be one of the most prevalent clubs on campus.      

This year, I am focused not only on expanding the club as we plan to create a per-manent garden, but also equipping the other members of the club with the important leadership skills that I have received through the CSO program. I have taught the club reporter how to create the weekly update videos. I have recommended the treasurer to take a leadership role as the fundraising committee chair, and I have shown the Vice President how to organize and run the club. It will be difficult saying goodbye in May, but I am so thankful for every single opportunity.

January 2023