Reese is one of those kids that you know has a billion thoughts going on underneath the surface.
When she thinks about something, her eyes become focused and intense–but that intensity doesn't ever mask the joy she's feeling. Especially if she's working on one of her favorite subjects: robotics.
Reese is only 12 years old, but this seventh grader is already deeply involved in the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). In addition to her school's robotics team, some of her most recent enrichment classes include Bridge Building, Tetrahedral Kit Building, Roller Coaster Physics, and Deep Space.
"I like science," she says, "There are so many wonders of the world and life to be explored."
For Reese, her passion for science is about much more than experiments and numbers. Robotics has given her the ability to delve into the creative aspect of the field, too. Her favorite part about building robots? "Coming up with my own original design is definitely my favorite," she notes.
Building things seems to come naturally to Reese–in fact, she's planning on becoming a software engineer, writing code focused on robot-control and video game design.
Even beyond her enrichment courses, she's already well on her way academically. She was the recipient of one of the most prestigious awards at her school last year, recognized as one of the top three students in her entire class.
But even though she knows her Big Dream for her future involves science and technology, she doesn't let it limit her from also being involved with other things she loves.
Like dancing. And acting. And Star Wars. And…pot-bellied pigs.
Yep, you read that right. Reese actually remembers wanting a pig since she was three years old. A few years ago, that dream came true.
She describes her two-year-old pet potbellies, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Otis (whom she affectionately calls "my boys"): "They are funny and smart. They always manage to get into the garden no matter how secure the fence is. And they are always ready to eat."
Dancing also is a big part of her life. Yet she doesn't hesitate to infuse her own sense of style:
Just like everything else, her interest in Star Wars goes a little bit deeper than simply being a fan of the surface story.
Her favorite character, for example, isn't any of the heroes or heroines. It's actually the baddest of bad guys, Darth Vader. But her admiration for him is representative of her larger reflection on the human race: "He's evil in the beginning, but in the end he turns good. It shows that anyone can change for the better." She then adds, simply but poignantly: "I have hope for people."
I'm confident that Reese will accomplish anything she puts her mind to–not because she's smart, talented, or focused (and she certainly is all three)–but because she doesn't assume that a gift or passion in one area automatically means its her only path. She knows how to embrace her analytical side while joyfully expressing her creative side as well.
Reese is a scientist. Reese is an engineer. Reese is a builder.
Reese is also a dancer. An animal lover. A playwright. An actress.
She is writing her own story with passion and conviction. She recognizes that quite a few of her interests aren't exactly the same as other girls her age, and that's perfectly okay with her. "I'm proud to be me," she says. "I have my own path."
And because of this, Reese will make a lasting impact on this world wherever that path might lead.