Who wouldn't get excited about meeting a teenager who just won a $50,000 savings bond! But for me, Melissa Rey was exciting for more reasons than just the cool medal and the big check. Sure, she was upbeat, well-spoken and cute-as-a-button, but she was more than that as I found out during the interview.
I told her that she didn't strike me as the usual (forgive the phrase) science-geek with her love of designer purses, the beach and her Ugg boots. She's just not the stereotypical scientist. She even created a science experiment about her favorite sport-- soccer. Melissa told me that she really wants to change that nerd image and get more people excited about science because in her words, "Science is fun!"
With all the negative news we hear these days, Melissa is a breath of fresh air. And as a mother, I couldn't help but give her a big squeeze and tell her how proud I am of her!