Throughout our letters, me and my pen pal kind of connected in a way.

We’re excited to bring you another story from one of our students, or pre-scientists, as we call them! The goal of this blog series is to share real experiences students have in the pen pal program, and what those experiences mean to them. Since every student is matched with a different STEM professional, every relationship is unique.

By passing the mic to students, we hope you learn a bit more about our program and are reminded of the brilliance, thoughtfulness, and potential middle schoolers possess. Enjoy! 

This story was written by Vanessa, a 7th grade student. Her pen pal is a Lead Engineer for the South Florida Water Management District.

Hi my name is Vanessa and I am in the Letters to Pre-Scientist Pen Pal program. In the past
school year I have written and sent letters to a STEM scientist and they have written me back.
We talked about STEM careers, colleges, and also if I ever wanted to have a future in the STEM
field. I really enjoyed the program and it taught me to look at the different perspectives of a
problem and always think like a scientist. After such a great experience I would like to share
about it.

I really enjoyed writing and receiving letters with my pen pal because it made me feel lucky. Not
a lot of people can have the opportunity to receive letters from a STEM scientist that has
accomplished a lot and is willing to help guide someone into the world of STEM, and I was one
of those lucky people. Not only did I feel lucky but I also felt proud that a STEM scientist was
writing to ME about their journey in getting to where they are now. I felt inspired by how they
approached their challenges and it motivated me to work hard in school. It also felt nice,
being able to talk about my future career with someone professional who has experience and
advice to share.

Most people perceive a STEM scientist as a professional that is always serious and I did too at
first, but after I got my first letter from them my ideology changed. I realized that me and my Pen
Pal actually shared a lot in common. For instance, we both like spending time outside and we
both like 80’s music. And, me and my pen pal were both fascinated by space at an early age.
We also shared an interest in school subjects like math and science. I was glad that me and my
pen pal had things in common, especially great taste in music.

Collection of emojis describing how Vanessa feels during parts of the pen pal program.

Throughout our letters, me and my pen pal kind of connected in a way. We both know how it
feels to over work ourselves and get stressed out. We also both know how it feels to be the shy
person in a group of extroverts. My pen pal helped me conquer my shyness and gave me
advice about overcoming my obstacles, and that allowed me to trust them. In one of the letters
my class had to send to our pen pals we had to ask about any challenges that they faced in
their life. My pen pal wrote back some of their challenges and how they overcame them.
Opening up to someone about obstacles that you faced can be hard but that just goes to show
that me and my Pen Pal shared a trust.

Overall, I had a really good experience with the LPS Pen Pal program. I was able to connect
with my Pen Pal and get really good advice about my future career. I was also able to learn a lot
about my Pen Pal and myself. I encourage anyone out there who really enjoys Science,
Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics to join the LPS pen pal program. After my experience
with LPS, I can tell you with full confidence that this program is worth it.


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