Klaudia Leja, Northside College Prep student entering MIT in the fall, Class of 2014
Klaudia has already started getting used to making her male classmates jealous: during her sophomore year in high school she beat them out for one of four coveted spots in a 2008 summer internship at the Innovative Computing Laboratory at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. While there, she learned about high-performance operating systems and computer languages, which in turn has helped her nearly exhaust the computer science curriculum at Northside College Prep. "I love that it's a lot of problem solving, and that if you do everything right it works in the end," she says. "There are always a lot of bugs to correct, but that's part of the challenge."
Among the other accolades Klaudia has already accumulated are an award for Aspirations in Computing from the National Center for Women and Information Technology and recognition as one of nine most promising technology students in Chicago high schools in the Illinois Technology Foundation's "50 For The Future" award.
For Klaudia and her twin sister, Karolina, who moved with their parents to the United States from Poland at age two, Chicago Scholars has been an invaluable way to make connections and prepare for the college process. "I feel much more prepared to handle college because I know what to expect," she explains.
Entering MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] this coming August, Klaudia plans to augment her computer science work with a double major in biomedical engineering, spurred on by a nanobiotechnology internship program she completed at Cornell University in the summer of 2009. There she was able to design an independent research project that used live equipment to study the cellular makeup of prostate cancer. "All of my grandparents had a different form of cancer," she explains. "I remember watching them go through the struggle and being surprised by how little we still know about it." Keep your eyes peeled on Klaudia Leja; she has a bright future ahead and Chicago Scholars is proud to support her endeavors!