WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – Future Leaders winner is a senior from Westminster High School. Every month throughout the school year, CBS4, along with the Colorado School of Mines and PDC Energy, honor a high school student who is excelling in science, technology, engineering, or math, the STEM fields. The winner gets $1,000 and a profile on CBS4.
Julia Pham is the winner for April. Pham excels in chemistry and plans to pursue a career in biochemical engineering.
“On a macro level, it seems static, like nothing is happening. But, as you delve in deeper, there is so much going on at such a dynamic level,” Pham said of chemistry. “The things that you can do by just changing a bond, by just messing with one molecule, or one code, I think that’s my favorite part.”
Pham loves her Advanced Placement Chemistry classes at Westminster High School.
“In chemistry, I can explore my curiosity because there is still so much unknown. There’s still so much to be discovered,” Pham explained.
It’s the field of biochemical engineering where she really hopes to make her mark.
“Hopefully, one day, I can create a medicine, a cure, an innovation that can help others, at least, live their life a little easier,” Pham told CBS4.
Pham got her first experience in the lab during an internship at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She worked in the Fox Lab, and got biotech training with several PhD candidates.
“I learned about kinetics, assays with cells, and I learned about cell cloning, and kind of just began to think about how I could apply that to my own future innovations,” Pham said.
In addition to her International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement classes, Julia is class president, and has coordinated community service projects, and mental health initiatives on campus. But, like most seniors, she is ready for her next big challenge.
“I will be attending the Colorado School of Mines in the fall, where I will be studying chemical engineering, with a specialty in biology.”
RELATED: Meet Other Future Leader Winners
The Future Leaders program runs from October to May.