SOMERSET, NJ - A local 4th grader will join students from across the nation to take part in a program designed to "enable students to explore their interests and experience learning beyond the classroom" according to a news release. 

This summer, Kimberly Osenenko an Elizabeth Avenue School (EAS) student, will take part in a unique academic and career-oriented development experience, Envision’s National Youth Leadership Forum: Pathways to STEM in Philadelphia.

“Pathways to STEM is a great opportunity for high-achieving scholars to get outside the classroom and see, through hands-on interactive learning, how to innovate and think creatively,” Andrew Potter, the Chief Academic Officer for Envision said in release. “These students, who have already proven themselves academically, will be challenged to work on real-world, student-created projects to bring their studies and career interests to life.”

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Osenenko is in the gifted and talented program at EAS and says she is looking forward to meeting other students who have a passion for science. 

“I’m really looking forward to meeting more kids my age who are really into science," Osenenko said. "Other than that, I don’t really know what to expect, so I’m not sure what to be excited about.” 

Osenenko's science teacher Tina Wojtowicz, nominated her for the week-long program, according to the release. Sharon Osenko, Kimberly's mom credits parental support and EAS staff with nurturing Kimberly's excitement for the sciences.  

"I have to say, as well, that, while Kim has always been interested in science and engineering, she has really come into her own where it is concerned over the past several years at EAS," Sharon said. "Her teachers have really brought out the best in her and have been instrumental in her setting life goals. Women are constantly increasing their presence in STEM fields and I am so excited that my daughter plans to be part of that." 

According to the release, during a recent remodel, she turned her bedroom into a science lab and she plans to be a chemist when she grows up. The trip was made possible thanks to fundraising efforts by Kimberly's mom, dad, and aunts, according to the release. 

“My husband, Paul, and I believe that the best thing you can do is lean into the things your kids are passionate about, support it, and learn right along with them," Sharon said. 

Sharon also credits her husband who is an electrician with helping Kimberly with math and science homework. She also feels parents should support their children's interests, no matter what they may be. 

"Supporting the things your kids love will look different for each kid, for each hobby, for each family," Sharon said. "Our other daughter is an artist, so supporting her means buying paints and canvases, hitting up art shows, taking advantage of our friends at the Villagers Theater here in town to let her help paint sets. One of the most important things, I’d say, is helping children see how the things they love to do can fit into their life long term. Kimmie’s love of science and engineering can blossom into any number of promising careers. So can Josephine’s love of art.  It’s an ever-evolving conversation around our house."

Since 1985, Envision programs have served more than 800,000 students in more than 145 countries, with programs designed to help students develop the leadership, scholarship and career skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive college and career landscape. 

TAPinto Franklin Township is independently owned and operated by  Malik A. Lyons FHS Class of 93’ Graduate. 

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