Video: Meet Our SWENext Award Recipients!

SWE is thrilled to announce our five SWENext Award recipients: Alycia Lee, Alyson Chaney, Jordan Love, Sam Steinberg and Sarah Adebabay.
WE16 by the Numbers

SWE is thrilled to announce our first SWENext Award recipients. These five SWENexters have been actively engaged in the SWE community, have a solid understanding of engineering principles, have played a role in serving their own community and have demonstrated strong leadership skills.

These award recipients will receive an all-expense paid trip to WE16, the SWE Annual Conference in Philadelphia, for herself and one other family member.  They will also be honored for their accomplishments at WE16.  The recipients will receive trophies for themselves and their schools as well as a signed certificate from Karen Horting.


Alycia Lee
Wissahickon High School
Lower Gwynedd, PA        

I am a senior from Wissahickon High School in Ambler, Pennsylvania, who is interested in the intersection of molecular biology, engineering, and computer science. I plan to pursue a college degree in either biomedical or biological engineering that utilizes engineering principles and practices a wide range of biological applications. At school, I play varsity tennis, participate in Quiz Bowl, FIRST Robotics, and Zero Robotics competitions, chair Science Club, and edit the school newspaper. In spring 2015, I was admitted to the Immersion Science Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center, where I performed tests for whether resveratrol was beneficial to mutant fruit flies against DNA degradation. In summer 2016, I interned at the National Cancer Institute, researching the effect of removing a gene from mice on the development of their immune systems, which helps fight diseases such as cancer. I am passionate about empowering young women to pursue careers in STEM, and to become future leaders who can foster positive changes. To further that goal, I launched an outreach project in fall 2016 to bring a group of local STEM professionals together, mentoring, guiding, and encouraging young girls to explore their talents and develop their leadership potential for a future career in STEM.

Sarah Adebabay
Da Vinci Science High School
Inglewood, CA                     

During her sophomore year of high school, Sarah Adebabay started her SWE journey. Immediately after joining SWE, there was a change in Sarah’s perception of engineering: something that she felt was out of her reach was now attainable and captivating. From SWE, Sarah was empowered to search for opportunities to interact with engineering. During her junior year, Sarah joined Team 4201: The Vitruvian Bots, the First Robotics Competition (FRC) team at her school. This experience was a life-changing experience for Sarah because of the family spirit within the team. Because of FRC, Sarah has grown as an individual and a leader. Today, she leads the team as one of the seven directors, specializing in Business Management. Inspired to share her love for STEM, Sarah dedicates her time volunteering in her community with her SWE club and FRC team. In both SWE and FRC, she helps participate in coordinating and volunteering events, such as “Femineers Day” and a summer robotics camp. As all high school seniors, Sarah is wondering what area of study she wants to pursue in college. After participating in MOSTEC, a summer program through MIT, Sarah is planning to major in Mathematics and Computer Science.

Alyson Chaney
South Vermillion High School
Clinton, IN            

I am a senior at South Vermillion High School in Clinton, Indiana. My family farms 2,600 acres of corn, popcorn, and soybeans. Through working on the farm, I have become interested in both chemical and agricultural engineering. The SWE Next Community has provided opportunities for me to attend many camps such as "Wow! That's Engineering!" at Ivy Tech Bloomington, "Go STEM!" at the University of Southern Indiana, and "Introduce a Girl to Engineering" at Purdue University. I have given a talk at the "S.T.E.A.M. Powered" Conference at St. Mary of the Woods College, too, on using technology with chemistry. After I graduate with academic honors and technical honors diplomas, I plan to attend either Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology or Purdue University. In my free time, I love fishing, cooking, and shopping. However, I really enjoy volunteering and have spent over 300 hours helping local organizations including our county food pantry, humane shelter, and youth center. My favorite activity is tutoring elementary students in math and science. In the future, I hope to conduct research on ways to make herbicides and pesticides better for the environment. I am also interested in finding cures for diseases through the use of plant-based medicines.

Sam Steinberg
Poly Prep
New York, NY                      

A self proclaimed “fashionista”, Sam is interested in the intersection of design and technology. After receiving an Adafruit Gemma v2, she has pursued an Arduino jewelry line that she works on in her free time. She is fascinated with the utilization of surplus energy to generate power and resources for gadgets. In addition to this, Sam has a passion for filmmaking, and frequently experiments with animation software. In college, Sam plans on double majoring in Computer Science and Entrepreneurship. She strives to work in venture capital, and possibly found her own start-up. In her essay for SWE, Sam discussed the opposition she faced starting the Girls Who Code club at her school. She co-created an application called S.N.O : Safe Night Out, which helps young adults get home safely when alone or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Her mission was to create a secure virtual environment that would assist people with the tools they need to shield them from perilous situations. Computer Science supports her unquenchable yearning for technology and social change. Her love for literature fuels her every step. Sam’s favorite quote is from Lady Macbeth : “Look'th like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t.”

Jordan Love
Olathe Northwest High School
Overland Park, KS

Jordan Love is a junior at Olathe Northwest High School in Olathe, Kansas. She is a proud SWENext leader at her school and is the CEO of FIRST Robotics Team 1710. Jordan leads the STEM Connection robotics workshop serving underrepresented middle school girls in her district and is very active in the team’s overall community outreach efforts, including “You Go Girl”, her FIRST team’s initiative to inspire girls in STEM. Last year, she was invited by FIRST to help present “Future Innovators on the Rise”, a panel explaining how high school level outreach done through FIRST can be applied at the collegiate and professional levels, and wrote an article called “YOU GO GIRL! Women, Diversity and Outreach” which was featured on SWE’s All Together blog. She will major in either engineering or computer science, and is exploring a variety of schools from Stanford to MIT to Kansas State University. In the future, she hopes to help solve global issues such as access to human necessities or contribute to the development of clean energy. Within her essay and video submitted for the award, Jordan sought to relay how passionate she is about STEM and inspiring underrepresented groups in those fields.