Kayla Soto is a senior at St. Benedict’s Prep located in Newark. She has been an active member and leader for the 4-H Science Ambassador and Teen Council. She has participated in various STEM based projects, most recently teaching the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s and Google’s Mars Base Camp Challenge – a collection of activities that teaches students STEM skills of mechanical engineering, physics, computer science, and agriculture. She has received many awards over the years including, bronze, silver, and a soon to be gold award for Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey involving justice and community service. In April of 2021, she was awarded first place overall at the Novartis Pharmaceutical Multicultural Teen Mentoring Program for her project to create a faux drug to battle against psoriasis. She is an active member of her school’s social activist group Race to Action, member of National Honor Society, the Vox Institute, and Chief Attendance Officer for the St. Benedict’s Prep Girls Division. When not engaging in academia, she is often found reading thriller, romance, young adult, and mystery novels, listening to music, writing poetry, and hanging out with her friends. Kayla is participating in the independent study program at her school where she will get a jump start on her future career of being a cosmetic chemist and learn the elements of chemistry and organic chemistry and conduct research and create her own ethnic hair products.