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Meet SHLA Ambassador: Paphasorn

The 2020 Year Review Of Shla

The SWENext High School Leadership Academy (SHLA) is an engaging virtual year-round program that builds self-confidence and resilience among high school students interested in engineering and technology degrees and provides them with multiple opportunities to network with peers, mentors, role models, and industry professionals. This month we want to introduce you to one of our ambassadors, Paphasorn! 

Meet SHLA Ambassador: Paphasorn - SHLA

Paphasorn is a member of the 2022 SWENext High School Leadership Academy (SHLA) program cohort. Read on to learn more about her experiences building community through SHLA. 

What first sparked your interest in STEM or made you want to pursue this field? 

I enjoyed learning chemistry, biology, math, and physics at school, which led me to research jobs that fall into these categories, and engineering is one of them. I also recognized that very few women are in STEM. This factor motivated me to do even more since I like to do unexpected things. I firmly believe that women can do anything they want; all they need is passion and support. 

Why is SHLA important to you? 

SHLA is important because it’s a place where many amazing women in STEM give me advice and insights about college, leadership, experiences, etc., which I found very useful. 

Share one “quick win” that has helped you excel since joining the SHLA program.  

It has helped me a lot with my university research and the engineering fields I want to pursue. Since I am a junior, I need to figure out what ten colleges I can apply and SHLA has been a big help in this factor. The program gives detailed information about each university such as dorms, experiences, environment, classes, etc. 

What’s something that surprised you about SHLA? 

I am pleasantly surprised about the community SHLA has built during all the sessions. Due to the time difference, I couldn’t join the Zoom session, but when I re-watch the video on YouTube, I can feel a family/sister vibe. Everyone is giving advice and support to every person in the room. They provide not only college or STEM-related advice but also life advice. I would like to thank you and tell you how I appreciate all the fantastic people who put this program together. It did and still making an impact in many people’s lives. 

Are you working on any STEM-related projects (outreach events, clubs, building a website, etc.)? Tell us about them! 

Since I am the president of the SWENext club at my school, all the executives and I need to make sure that all the members are getting all the engineering experience and more knowledge about discrimination. For our past activities, we have a weekly seminar series on what it is like to practice different types of engineering and science kits that include fun experiments for younger kids to try. We are having a Rube Goldberg Machine Competition for the middle school students and developing a microscope under 2000 baht to donate to rural schools in Thailand. 

What piece of advice would you give to other girls who want to get into engineering/STEM? 

STEM is one of the most difficult courses you would take, in my opinion. I recommend that you work hard and AVOID procrastination as much as possible. Having a planner and to-do list for each day will help you be more organized. Even though working hard is essential, a good, healthy, and happy life is also crucial. I recommend finding a daily activity that will help you relieve stress. It can be running, dancing, singing, etc. Lastly, don’t ever let anyone say you can’t be an engineer. Whatever they say, consider it as advice for you to improve on, but never give up on what you love to do. 


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