Sophia Merlino is currently a senior at Toms River High East STEAM Academy. Throughout high school, she has conducted independent research on the engineering and technology of cardiology devices including the defibrillator and leadless pacemaker and has participated in human fertility research by analyzing and studying the NANOS gene in various Drosophila species. She has also published 2 cDNA analyses to the National Center of Biotechnology Information online database through Rutgers’ Waksman Institute. Outside of her STEM background, Sophia is the New Jersey Key Club District Secretary, now serving the Key Club organization on both a state and international level. Sophia is very involved in her school community as the President of her class, Recording Secretary for the student body, and President of the Medical Club. She has recently founded a new club called MedLife, dedicated to fighting for equal access to healthcare, education, and safe shelter around the world working specifically with organizations in Africa and Southern America. She is an ambassador for Junior Achievement of New Jersey to empower and conduct fruitful discussions with future women leaders.