The brain is a mysterious organ. Researchers believe we don't use but a small percent of it. The left side is associated with logic, linear thinking and facts. The right side is associated with arts, imagination and holistic thinking. For Beza, a senior at RHS's HS2 STEM Academy, she is fascinated with the whole brain and hopes that she can study what makes the organ so unique as well as cure diseases.
"I've always been interested in physics, and then I saw The Theory of Everything, about my personal hero Stephen Hawking," she said. "I want to understand the brain and cognitive science, and research diseases like ALS, which is what Stephen Hawking had."
Originally from Ethiopia, Beza moved to Ohio three years ago. "My mother moved here in 2012 and I missed her," explains Beza. "No matter where I was living, I wanted to go to an elite college and get an excellent education."
And that, she did. Beza enrolled in the HS2 STEM Academy and took advantage of the College Credit Plus Program, as well as the convenient location of Columbus State Community College's Reynoldsburg Campus. "I designed my own education," Beza said. "I discovered the Bodies program at HS2 and started looking into ways to further my education."
As a result, Beza will be attending The Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a full scholarship.
"Beza has always been interested in the brain and science and I would often find her doing research projects on her own, independent of the work in the Bodies class," said HS2 Bodies Teacher Ms. Cully. "She has worked so hard and we are so proud of her. We know she is going to go on to do great things."
Last year, Beza applied for WISE- Weekend Immersion in Science and Engineering at MIT, a three-day experience for rising seniors to learn what it is like to be an MIT student. She was accepted and got to visit the campus where she confirmed what she already knew- MIT is where she wants to spend her college years. In fact, she wants to double major in neuroscience and physics.
"There are so many undergraduate research opportunities to work alongside a professor," said Beza.
Beza exercises both the left and right side of her brain every day. She has a part-time job as a math tutor, is in the National Honor Society, volunteered at the Franklin Park Conservatory and does a little coding on her own time, after being exposed to code at Cbus Hack.
Another perk to the CCP? "I am taking piano lessons!" exclaimed Beza. "I'm using art and the right side of my brain to focus on tones, music and that helps me relax."
Relaxing is part of the advice Beza has for juniors who will be going through the application process in the fall. "It's stressful. I wasn't eating or sleeping well, you have to take care of yourself," she said. "The process is equally as important as the result."
Beza isn't worried about moving far from home, having already lived apart from her family while she was in Ethiopia. She plans to visit family in Calgary, Canada this summer before heading off to Massachusetts. What will she remember most about her time at HS2 STEM Academy? "The friends I made in Bodies," she said. "We were a small group, and it takes time to create the models. It's art and science and it's beautiful."