Outstanding Youth Leadership in Our Community: Natalie C.

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Pictured: Natalie C., 11th grade student at Out of Door Academy. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

Our community is filled with many incredible young people doing such amazing things. For the next several weeks, we will be featuring some of these young people in our Thursday Family & Education edition. The students we are highlighting have been chosen for this year’s SRQ Magazine’s top youth leaders based on their values, determination and outstanding achievements in different aspects of their lives in and out of school.

Natalie C., an 11th grade student at Out of Door Academy began volunteering at the Fab Lab for summer camp support in 2020. When the opportunity arose to be at the front of the class and develop and teach her own hands-on STEAM classes, she took it and joined the SPEC (Student Projects & Education Committee). Since 2021, she has developed and led over 10 classes and camps. She also mentors junior instructors so they can build experience and confidence to lead their own classes. Natalie is incredibly passionate about girls in STEAM and is helping develop outreach programming to expose more underserved girls to the possibilities within science, technology, engineering, art and math. Natalie also serves on the RC Car Executive Committee where she helps plan all aspects of the Fab Lab's annual remote control car competition for K-12 students. In summer 2022, Natalie will be elevating her leadership role and serving as a summer intern, helping facilitate and manage several Fab Lab programs.

We asked Natalie what inspires her to be a leader.

"I love bringing out the best in people," she said. "Leading a team allows me to identify people’s strengths and help them reach their full potential. Honestly though, I don’t think about trying to be a leader amongst my peers very often. What’s satisfying about being a leader isn’t the leading in and of itself, but rather the work you do and the change that comes from it. I think the best leaders are those without a desire to lead, but a desire to improve their community." 

Pictured: Natalie C., 11th grade student at Out of Door Academy. Photo by Wyatt Kostygan.

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