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Friends & Neighbors: Pawcatuck resident honored with Claes Nobel Future Leader award

Deidra Hall of Pawcatuck has been awarded the 2022 Claes Nobel Future Female Leader Scholarship by the National Society of High School Scholars. This scholarship was established to empower young women to assume future leadership roles in their higher education, careers, and communities, and to become mentors for the young women following in their footsteps.

Of nearly 500 applications, Deidra was one of 10 students who were selected to each be awarded a $1,000 scholarship.

During her high school years, Deidra has held numerous leadership roles on her robotics team. She co-authored a leadership curriculum and electrical training manual, which have both been adopted by her team’s mentors and serve as a resource for future students. She models commitment to self-improvement and took initiative to learn industrial level soldering, manual machining, and computer aided manufacturing.

In 2020, she co-led a future leaders training program for students on her team to prepare them to present to sponsors and the community. In 2021, she participated in the Cedarville University Leadership Conference, “Resolute,” which is a prerequisite for any student who wants to serve in campus leadership. When she attends CU this fall to major in electrical engineering, she plans to join the Society of Women Engineers, which provides mentorship and service projects to support and help women strive for success.

To address the inability to gather at her robotics shop during COVID, Deidra co-pioneered a Women in STEM Discord server created as a safe space for girls to discuss their struggles and successes.

Deidra also coached a community FIRST LEGO robotics team made up of eight 14-year-old girls. She guided the rookie team to qualify for CT Champs and to win two awards. She used super magnets to creatively display the team’s activities on poster board and led students through the development of a skit as a fun way to convey an innovation solution. She also fostered a close relationship with a younger, timid girl who, after support and coaching from Deidra, took a lead role for one of the presentations. Deidra says, “Leadership experiences have been opportunities for me to mature and grow and reflect upon what makes an effective leader. I strive to model the leader that others would want to emulate, and I try to connect personally with people I work with. Likewise, I take pleasure when those I empower have had success.”

NSHSS is the premier international honors and scholarship program co-founded by Claes Nobel and James Lewis. It offers a lifetime of benefits, pairing the highest performing students worldwide with high school and college scholarships, events, connections, internships, and career opportunities that begin in high school and carry on through college and careers. For more information, visit https://nshss.org.

Friends & Neighbors is a regular feature. To contribute email times@theday.com.

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