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Young mentor at Poway High School hopes to spread her love of STEM

Madalyn Nguyen wants to see STEM diversity
Posted at 4:06 PM, Mar 07, 2022

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Meet Madalyn Nguyen. She's a senior at Poway High School.

"It's programmed into our heads, boys play with cars and robots, and girls play with dolls. So I’d really like to see those boundaries broken," said Nguyen.

Her love for STEM — science, technology, engineering, and math — started when Nguyen was 7-years-old.

"Madalyn’s passion is like nothing I’ve ever seen. It’s something that comes from within, and you can see her desire to learn and grow," said Justina Sanchez.

Her mentor, quality engineer Justina Sanchez said since meeting Nguyen in 2018, it was clear she was naturally wired to understand, and applies herself in a way that is unique. Sanchez offered her an internship Tuv Sud, a global testing, inspection, and certification company.

"So what Madalyn did in our lab was a lot of electrical safety testing on products like airport safety scanners or hair irons. Anything that you plug-in we must make sure it's safe for the public," said Sanchez.

While Nguyen has won numerous awards during junior high and high school, including the society of global engineers, global innovator award last year, her real passion is promoting diversity in the STEM field.

"It's inspiring to know when I help young girls, they have an entirely new door open for them," said Nguyen.

Opening doors for all the girls coming behind her is something Madalyn’s mother Tracy says comes from hardships Madalyn has experienced as a female student in STEM, and what Madalyn knows is coming in a workforce with minimal female representation.

"Her journey has been amazing. She faces some bias and discrimination as a student in STEM and she wanted to promote diversity," said Tracy Nguyen.

But for now, Madalyn is finishing her senior year of high school, interning at Northrup Grumman, serving as a code instructor for code ninjas, and continuing to mentor robotics students around the world — especially other young girls.

STEM diversity is her goal.