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Awesome CTYers

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CTYer Luz Mercado named Gates Millennium Scholar

Luz MercadoCTY Scholar Luz Mercado first set her sights on college in sixth grade, when she and her parents went on a class field trip to Pomona College. 
Her parents are from Guadalajara, Mexico, and speak little English. No one in her family had ever gone to college, but the campus tour suddenly made it seem possible. 
“That was a turning point, when my family said, ‘Yes, we think you could do this,’” Luz said. 
She’s been working to prove them right ever since. ...Read more about this Awesome CTYer.

Q&A with Anil Dash, CTYer-turned tech pioneer

Picture of Avil Dash.“Just got a push notification that the bully who broke my nose in the 7th grade is turning 40 today, so the Internet is working as designed.”

That’s just one of many tweets that give Anil Dash the air of someone you’d like to hang out and drink coffee with. Trouble is, he doesn’t drink coffee—or have a lot of free time. The former CTYer-turned tech pioneer is CEO of ThinkUp, an app that helps subscribers mindfully manage their presence on social media, and partner at a consulting firm. He’s also a husband, father, and prolific blogger and social-media user with more than half a million followers on Twitter. Dash recently took a break from it all to share his thoughts on the passing of Prince and making technology more humane....Read more about this Awesome CTYer.

This CTYer Is Working to Feed the World – with a Surprising Source

Picture of William Tarpeh.William Tarpeh is a doctoral candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering program at UC Berkeley, where he spends several hours per day in a lab working with urine.

“Urine is pretty special because a lot of the nutrients found in it are the same nutrients found in fertilizers,” he said.

William is researching ways to extract those nutrients and repurpose them. He’s already developed an electrochemical cell that can extract nitrogen from urine, turn it into a gas, and combine it with water to make fertilizer. Next, he wants to develop a large-scale system for urine collection in sub-Saharan African countries. This could help grow crops to feed the hungry, while selling the fertilizer could fund more toilets in countries where sanitation systems are lacking....Read more about this Awesome CTYer.

Five CTYers Take Top Prizes at 2016 Intel Science Talent Search

Intel STS 2016.Last Wednesday at a gala celebration in Washington, D.C., nine students were named winners of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search, the prestigious competition sometimes called the “Junior Nobel Prize” that honors U.S. high school seniors who have conducted sophisticated, original research in math or science. Of those nine, five were CTYers.

Maya Varma, a CTYer from Cupertino, California, who received one of the three first-place awards, began her project two years ago with the help of a 2014 CTY Cogito Research Award, which provides winners with a small grant to purchase materials and a virtual mentor to help them complete a project they propose in their award application....Read more about this Awesome CTYer.

Eleven CTYers Are 2016 Intel Science Talent Search Finalists

Intel STSThe 40 students named yesterday as national finalists in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search (STS), the oldest and one of the most prestigious pre-college math and science competitions in the United States, came from 18 states and 38 high schools.

They also came from CTY.

Eleven of the 40 high school seniors, whose projects aimed to answer tough scientific questions and create technologies to improve people’s lives, were CTY students....Read more about this Awesome CTYer.