FORT DEFIANCE, Ariz. - Jaden Redhair, a 10th grader at Window Rock High School in Fort Defiance, Arizona, is a delegate of the Congress of Future Science and Technology leaders in Lowell, Massachusetts June 29-July 1.
The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students who are passionate about science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). The purpose of the event is to honor, inspire, motivate and direct the top students in the country who aspire to be scientists and technologists, to stay true to their dream and, after the event, to provide a path, plan and resources to help them reach their goal.
Redhair said this opportunity will afford him the chance to learn about and pursue a career in the science and technology field.
"I am excited for this opportunity because it is a chance for me to explore the world," Redhair said. "This is also a chance for me to meet new people from different cultures as I go to represent the Navajo Nation and the state of Arizona."
Redhair was nominated by the winner of the first Google Science Fair, Shree Bose - academic director of the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists - to represent Window Rock High School based on his academic achievement, leadership potential and passion for science and technology.
During the three-day Congress, Redhair will join students from across the country and hear Nobel Laureates and National Medal of Science Winners talk about leading scientific research; be given advice from deans of the world's top tech universities; be inspired by fellow teen science prodigies; and learn about cutting-edge advances and the future of science and technology.
"This is a crucial time in America when we need more nimble-minded and creative scientists and technologists who are even better prepared for a future that is changing exponentially," said Richard Rossi, executive director, National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists. "Focused, bright and determined students like Jaden Redhair are our future and he deserves all the mentoring and guidance we can give him."
That mentoring and help also begins with Redhair's family including his father, Sean Ahasteen, and his mother, Chelseah Ahasteen, along with his siblings and grandparents. Chelseah said there is a process involved in making sure that Redhair can take advantage of the many opportunities he has been offered - from responding to nomination letters regarding his academic achievements and leadership skills to figuring out the amount of money needed for tuition, travel, hotel and food and what kind of scholarships/financial aid might be needed.
"He does those first before he enrolls so we will know exactly how much is needed for him to go," Chelseah said. "We are proud of him because he can now do all the letters for donations and also gets all documents needed to turn in to the program all on his own now. We just supervise him and I make sure we have everything in order and turned in on time."
Redhair said that other kids can achieve the same success he has as long as they do the work.
"This applies to everything, not only your education," Redhair said. "To do your best and not give up on challenges. These are basic principles that do work if you practice them. Once the work is done properly and well opportunities will present themselves to you."
Chelseah said she is proud of her son and all that he has achieved.
"He is outstanding as a son and everything with his academics is excellent," she said. "He is a good role model to his siblings as well as peers. Also, he is a young man determined to allow his academic achievements to help him reach his goals to pursue a career in the science and technology field."
The Academy offers free services and programs to students who have the desire to learn more about their future in science or technology. Some of the services and programs the Academy offers include online social networks through which future scientists and technologists can communicate; opportunities for students to be guided and mentored by tech and science leaders; and communications for parents and students on college acceptance and finances, skills acquisition, internships, career guidance and much more.
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