Hi guys! My name is Ilira Caboku and I am a second year Biomedical Sciences major at the lovely University of Central Florida. I graduated from Countryside High School in Clearwater, Florida where I was part of a STEM magnet program. Being part of the program really influenced my decision to pursue a career in STEM because I saw how applicable a background in STEM can be in a variety of career paths and how truly passionate I am about science. I am super excited to be a STEM Ambassador this year because I believe that the more exposed younger students are to the idea of STEM, the more willing they will be to pursue a career in it. I especially hope to make a difference in young girls’ lives because sadly females continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields. Here at UCF, I have had the privilege of meeting many wonderful Professors. One that especially touched my heart is Professor Vanessa Calkins, an English and Rhetoric instructor. She exposed me to the idea that I should follow another passion of mine, writing, even though it is not explicitly involved in STEM or my chosen career path. Because of her, I plan to minor in Writing and Rhetoric. With that being said, my advice to all students is to always listen to your heart and follow your dreams. The career paths we choose may be tough and the education required to get to those careers will always be a challenging roller coaster ride, but in a good way. To overcome the challenges, think of the future and what lies ahead. If we work hard now, we can play hard later! Upon completion of my undergraduate education, I aspire to attend graduate school and pursue a career in Pediatric Medicine or Optometry. In my very limited free time, I love to spend time with my family and friends and read novels. Fun Fact: you can almost always find me at the nearest Starbucks or Barnes & Noble sippin’ on some coffee and reading a book!