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Two named Sunshine State Scholars

By Staff | Feb 20, 2018

Two area students have been named among the state’s top 11th-graders in STEM education.

Audrianna Macchia, of North Fort Myers High School, and Mary Brady, of Cape Coral High School, have been selected Sunshine State Scholars for 2018, for being among the best in the Lee County School District in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics.

Macchia has a weighted GPA of 5.14 while also completing 146 hours of community service. She said she didn’t know any of this was happening until she was called to the office and told she had won.

“I was very excited and very surprised. It was a great feeling to know I was one of two people chosen. It showed my accomplishment and a reminder of all the work I’ve done was paying off,” Macchia said.

“She is a dedicated student who excels in math and science here at North Fort Myers High School. We are proud for her to represent our school,” said Darcy Coleman, school counselor.

Macchia does Odyssey of the Mind, in which she is given a problem and must find a solution in the form of a performance.

Macchia said she’s planning a pre-med major in college to become a pediatrician. She has not decided on a college, but is looking at Florida.

Brady is the founder and president of the Science National Honors Society at Cape High, and participated in a two-week STEM camp at FGCU last summer. Her weighted GPA is 5.0.

Brady said she has always been interested in STEM, and was very happy when she learned of this opportunity.

“I’m glad all my hard work has paid off. I think of this as a good thing to put on my college application to show my dedication,” Brady said. “I’m also going to look into a couple programs over the summer, at MIT and Florida State.”

Brady said she wants to study chemical engineering and bioengineering in a dual major for a broader experience as she goes through college. She plans to apply for colleges in and out of state.

Whatever Brady decides on, she will do it to the best of her ability.

“In all endeavors, I have seen neither complacency nor timidity. Mary knows that excellence comes from effort. It is not her success that is impressive, it is her constant pursuit of excellence that is remarkable,” said Michael Cook, IB counselor.

The Sunshine State Scholars event is a convergence of Florida’s highest caliber STEM students, the universities that enroll them, and employers who hire them.

Brady and Macchia will be among 100 of the top 11th-grade STEM students to participate in the Sunshine State Scholar event on May 17 and 18 in Orlando for a two-day program where they conduct a “think tank” on tough Florida challenges.

The event will culminate with the state Commissioner of Education honoring each student for their accomplishment.