March 1, I had the honor of volunteering at a National Science Bowl competition held at Arroyo Grande High School. The genius behind hosting this event, and subsequent regional director, was 16-yearold Kathleen Schwind. Yes, you read it correctly. Shes 16. Ive worked with teenagers for more than 40 years, and Ive never been more impressed. Kathleen did the research, made the contacts, solicited donations and volunteers, held trainings and pulled off an amazingly successful event with competence and poise.
There were 27 teams from four counties, 135 students competing in this high-level math and science contest, with the top prize being an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national finals. Since August, she and her entire family have been working on endless details to make this experience challenging and fun for the coaches, competitors and their families.
I would like to extend my personal gratitude to those who sponsored the event, and especially to the media that covered it. It was refreshing to see attention given to youth who are using their minds, and it gives great hope for the future to those of us who are older.