By Libby Smith

BROOMFIELD, Colo. (CBS4) – Every month during the school year, CBS4, along with PDC Energy, honors a high school student who excels in science, technology, engineering, and math, STEM. The Future Leaders winner gets $1,000 and a profile on CBS4 News.

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The Future Leaders winner for June is Amber Ganger, a rising sophomore Prospect Ridge Academy.  She also volunteers with the Civil Air Patrol.

“Civil Air Patrol is an auxiliary of the Air Force,” Ganger told CBS4.

The non-profit organization is geared for aviation minded people, like Ganger.

“Our squadron is North Valley Composite Squadron,” Ganger explained.

That’s one of 39 squadrons across Colorado teaching teens discipline, aerospace, emergency services, and character development. At a recent meeting of two squadrons, the cadets worked on STEM kits.

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“Why do you enjoy being a part of the Civil Air Patrol?” asked CBS4 Meteorologist Ashton Altieri.

“Because it’s a good community because there’s a lot of people with similar interests and have a drive and knowing what they want to do,” Ganger replied.

What most of them want to do is fly airplanes, and Ganger is no exception. She is fascinated by all things aerospace and engineering.

“I think it started in elementary school when I started doing a science club, and we did a lot of engineering and science-based stuff in the club,” Ganger explained.

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She has participated in several school robotics clubs, competing in the First Tech Challenges.

“So we create a base design on paper, and then we’ll work on making it with the resources they have at the school,” she said.

“What comes next for you after you finish school?” Altieri asked.

“I’m planning to either go to Colorado School of Mines, or maybe the Air Force Academy to hopefully study more engineering and aerospace,” she responded.

LINK: More Future Leaders Winner Profiles

Libby Smith