CSO Blog

Elected advocates for STEM and innovation in schools and communities.
October 15, 2019 //

CSO International Summit – CSO Marissa

Author: Jasper Pena

Submission By: CSO Marissa

HI, I’m Chief Science Officer Marissa, a member of the Arizona Leadership council and the International Leadership Council. To you, the reader, if you can imagine a sliver of the emotions and passions that go behind every word of this, you can begin to imagine the impact of the Chief Science Officer Program. This program has a special place in my heart, and I hope that, after this rollercoaster of a week, the adults and students can say the same. I do not think I will be able to encompass all the emotions, the moments, and the growth that occurred this week in one blog, so here’s a snippet of it.

I was one of the few Chief Science Officers who came back for the second International Summit. The growth of the summit after just  one year, almost to the date, was phenomenal. I have seen and felt the professional and personal growth in myself and in my peers. Walking into this summit I was admittedly skeptical, with the expectations high, the week in Washington D.C began. Spoiler alert, expectations were yet again smashed. As a part of the Arizona Leadership Council I pour myself into training, teaching, and supporting Chief Science Officers, a role that I have truly enjoyed. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the change you have made in others, a change that they are proud of. But, for this week, the tables have turned, and this time I was being poured into, and it was amazing. 

The entire summit are filled with moments that I will forever treasure, and their impact, small or great, will stick with me both as a Chief Science Officer and personally. During the summit, the Chief Science Officers got an exclusive experience with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) learning about different pathways to get to the career you were meant for. Throughout the whole day the DIA’s message was clear; you can have a degree in almost anything, and be able to work a rewarding job with the DIA. As a high schooler who’s just getting the questions of “What are you thinking for college?” and the golden one, “What do you want to do in the future?”, seeing how pathways can take you almost everywhere before the place you’re meant to be was comforting and inspiring. So if you’re reading this, thank you Lyle, Jasmine, Nathan, Kyle from Florida, the Deputy Director, and to everyone who took the time to interact with us, thank you.

There is a sneak peek into the second annual Chief Science Officer International Summit, I hope I did the week justice, but words truly can’t explain the change that occurred within me and with the other CSOs as a group. So I’ll use one word that seems to almost capture the program, magic. Magic that is a result of hard work, trainings, team bonding, cold calling on capitol hill for a  whole day, passion, midnight museum tours CSO style, ice cream nights, and a karaoke night that will echo throughout the halls of the hotel for forever. Thank you Chief Science Officer program, for this summit has been magical. 

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