Cohort Member Mera Seifu

Mera Seifu

Cohort 2 - SIP Member Since 2018

W.T. Woodson HS

Public Health, Pediatrics

C’2027

BIO

Mera Seifu is a 11th grade student currently attending WT Woodson High School and has been a member of the STEM Impressionists Program (SIP) for 3 years. Through this non-profit organization, Ms. Seifu has had the opportunity to participate in seminars, meet professionals in STEM, and partake in competitions. In 2018, she competed in the Robert H. Herndon Memorial Science Competition where she won first place for her essay “Why We Shouldn’t Ignore Pollution.” Later that year she helped organize an Hour of Code event for one-hundred-fifty 5th graders at her local elementary school where she introduced students to computer science through robotics. In 2019, Mera participated in the first-ever Sphero Robotics competition where she worked with her teammates to complete different coding challenges while learning about the Apollo 11 Moon landing. That year, she taught students about the different types of engineering and how to make a paper robotic hand at STEM into Spring, a day-long event created by the STEM Impressionists to introduce elementary school students to STEM with student-created hands-on activities.

Over the course of the pandemic, Mera has continued to explore her interests by taking different online courses such as Website Development, Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing, Cybersecurity, Mental Health, and more. Additionally, Mera has co-hosted HackSIP, a series of beginner-leveled hackathon for females that was funded by a $3000 grant awarded by NCWIT (Nation Center for Women in Information Technology). In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in healthcare. As she continues to engage in STEM, Mera hopes to give back to her community and help other young females get involved in STEM as well.

Achievements
  • 2021 AspireIT Impact Award
  • 2021 Aspirations in Computing Virginia & District of Columbia Affiliate Winner
  • 2019 SWE Community Service Award
  • 2021 NPR Student Podcast Challenge
  • 2020 Girls Who Start Design Hackathon
  • 2018 Robert H Herndon Memorial Science Fair: Why We Shouldn’t Ignore Pollution
  • 2020 Youth Mental Health First Aid USA
  • 2020 AI Foundations for Educators – IBM & Mindspark
  • 2021 Building a Strength-Based Team
  • 2021: STEAMBloom Virtual STEM Conference: Starting Early: Developing 21st Century Skills for Your Next Step in STEM: College/Career!
  • 2021 Champions for Science Series: The Power of Middle School
  • 2021 Champions for Science Series: Students as Partners
  • 2021 International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA): Transformer: From Hands-on to Visual
  • 2021 Peer-to-peer Educator, Starting From Scratch
  • 2020-21 Peer-to-peer Educator, HackSIP Series
  • 2019 Peer-to-peer Educator, STEM into Spring
  • 2018 Peer-to-peer Educator, Hour of Code

Looking Back At SIP

My name is Mera Seifu. I am a high school sophomore and have been a member of the STEM Impressionists Program for 3 years.

I first met Mx. DeHart in 7th grade; at the time, she was my FACS teacher but later became my mentor. In the years that I’ve known her, Mx. DeHart has always been a driven advocate for students. Her lifelong commitment to equity in education is beyond inspirational and has permanently impacted my life.During my first year in SIP, I worked with Mx. DeHart and another SIP member to host an Hour of Code event for the 5th graders in our community. The point of the event was to introduce minority students to STEM, more specifically, computer science. 

Through the process of bringing this event to life, I learned a number of things from Mx. DeHart as she supported me on my journey to becoming a leader. She taught me how to vocalize my thoughts, problem solve, and think outside the box, all of which she’s still helping me learn today. I had never considered myself to be a manager of any sort, but she encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone and take lead. It was through her that I first learned what it meant to be a good leader and the impact it can have on others.

Her dedication to her students meant that she was willing to meet our individualized needs. For example, when members of SIP were unable to get rides to certain events or seminars, Mx. DeHart took the initiative to drive us herself. Over time it became a constant for her to provide rides, without question. She has dedicated an abundant amount of money, resources, and time to her students. Mx. DeHart’s lifelong commitment to equity in education has resulted in active student leadership driven by passion for CS. Her mentorship has allowed me to further explore STEM while encouraging me to “think boldly.” Even before becoming her mentee, I’ve known her to be someone who’s constantly spreading knowledge everywhere she goes while bringing light to unjust issues. 

This past year, she helped her students find silver lining in the pandemic by presenting several STEM opportunities that encouraged continued exploration in a limited environment. Being a woman of color, she offers a diverse perspective and a representative voice for minorities.
Skills Highlights

Resume Summary

Enthusiastic, highly-motivated computer science student with proven leadership capabilities, who likes to take initiative and seek out new challenges. Self-motivated, with 5+ years of practical experience in creating and delivering innovative STEM seminars to adult educators and MS/HS students. Technical proficiencies include Java and Python. Creative problem solver with proven project management and team-oriented skills.

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