Rockdale student heading to future scientist congress

Next week, a conference in Boston will congregate the top names in the scientific and technology community with hundreds of students on track to succeed them. That crowd will also include a 15-year-old student from Rockdale County.

Crystal Garcia-Aulis, a rising sophomore at Rockdale County High School, was nominated as a delegate to The Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders.

The annual program aims to honor, inspire and motivate high school students who are passionate about science, technology, engineering or mathematics and provide them a path, plan and resources to meet their academic goals.

Nobel Laureates, leaders from the science and technology industry, and administrators and academics from Ivy League institutions will be in attendance at the three-day event for students to network and connect with.

Garcia-Aulis said that she is excited to open her eyes to the scientific community and meet its leaders to get advice on how to keep up her grades and pursue her dreams. Garcia-Aulis wants to work with NASA in the future.

She said her interest in the STEM fields is the direct product of today’s world.

“Times are changing, and everybody is using technology now, and there are a lot of new inventions coming out each year,” she said. “Science and technology – it’s gonna be the future.”

Garcia-Aulis also said that she is proud not just to be invited to attend the conference but to be representing the Latino community.

“I don’t know a lot of people who are in the field of science and technology who are Latino,” she said. “Me going to the program can open my eyes to what is coming up in the future and what I can expect going into the field as a Latina.”

Her father, Domingo Garcia, said that he has seen his daughter’s perseverance and is ecstatic about her achievement.

“I feel so proud of her because of her hard work over these years,” he said. “She has been working for it, having good grades all the time, doing her homework. It’s wonderful. I’m so proud.”

During the three-day Congress, Garcia-Aulis will hear Nobel Laureates and National Medal of Science recipients talk about leading scientific research; be given advice from deans of the world’s top tech universities; learn about cutting-edge advances in the STEM field; and interact with fellow teen science prodigies.

“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 of the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists, in a released statement. “Focused, bright and determined students like Crystal Garcia-Aulis are our future, and she deserves all the mentoring and guidance we can give her.”