Lillian can be described in many ways. She is a powerful and intelligent young woman. She is a budding scientist and a practiced problem-solver. And as of this month, she is a WISER graduate.
But perhaps more than anything else, Lillian can be described with one word: trailblazer.
“My family is proud of me, being the first lady to finish high school. And I know that I’m a role model already. I’m showing other girls that, despite the challenges they face in life, they can still move on to achieve their goals.”
Lillian has faced a tremendous level of personal challenges in her life, though that has hardly slowed her down. After four years of hard work, Lillian graduated from WISER this month as the #2 overall student in her class. During her time at WISER, Lillian served in a number of on-campus leadership roles and earned multiple wins at regional science and engineering fairs for her work in applied science.
Now, as a newly-graduated WISER alumna, Lillian has big plans to continue her success at the next level.
“I want to study science education in university. I want to be a teacher of mathematics and physics. I like those subjects, and I know I have the capability of teaching them both – I feel motivated to believe I can do that.”
Wanting to be a teacher in a STEM field is an ambitious goal for a young woman in Muhuru Bay, where women are largely underrepresented in STEM education. But Lillian’s trailblazing nature has led her to not only want to teach math and physics, but to do so in a very specific circumstance: Lillian hopes to one day be WISER’s first female physics teacher.
“To be a teacher here, at WISER…I would be so proud of that because that’s where I’ve been taught, I’ve grown here, I’ve gotten help here. So if I get a chance to be a WISER teacher, I will be a WISER teacher.”
This is the essence of Lillian’s character. She understands that her goals sometimes seem improbable: to be the first woman in her family to graduate, to be the first female physics teacher at WISER. But, this does not stop her. And that attitude has made Lillian a fast role model for nearly every girl on WISER’s campus.
Luckily, she welcomes that responsibility with open arms.
“I want to help others the way I’ve been helped. One of the things I wish to do with my life is to help those who are in need, the same way I’ve received wonderful help from WISER… I can motivate those who are facing challenges as they pursue an education.”
Lillian will begin her university degree this fall. But for now, she can be found bustling around WISER’s campus every day in her role as an alumni intern. And while her university journey awaits, we are certainly glad to be keeping Lillian’s inspiring leadership around for a little while longer.