DENVER (CBS4) – Every month during the school year, CBS4, along with its partners at Colorado School of Mines and PDC Energy, picks a Future Leaders winner. The award recognizes high school students who are excelling in science, technology, engineering, and math, STEM. Winners get $1,000 and a profile on CBS4.  Kayla Ro is a junior at East High School in Denver, and she’s April’s Future Leaders winner.

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“I always just like the way that math is like black and white. There’s always a right answer,” Ro told CBS4. “Math is it’s own language, and it’s always just made sense. I just like get it,”

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Math is Ro’s favorite subject, it’s also the subject she says that she does the best at. She really began to love math in middle school when she competed as a mathathelete. In high school she’s quickly moved through all the math classes offered. As a senior, she’ll go to Community College of Denver for college classes.

“I’m taking Calc 3 which is a semester class down at CCD, my fall semester. And then I’ll most likely be doing differential equations, my spring semester,” Ro explained.

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Over the summer, Ro will spend 7-weeks at Harvard taking classes.

“So I’m doing a math class there, which will be going more into pure math, and mathematics that isn’t really taught in high school. And it’s also looking at, like, proofs for a lot of the theorems that you learn in high school and explaining why they work,” Ro said.

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While she’s waiting for her next round of mathematic challenges to start, she’s been exploring the link between math and science. She’s been a teacher’s assistant in the genetic class.

“There’s definitely areas of genetics that you can go into that are more statistical, more dealing with math. That’s more of what I’m interested in, but I also really enjoy the lab work,” Ro explained.

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Kayla will continue studying math in college, but after that she’s keeping her options open to see where best she can be a future leader.

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