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Senior Spotlight | Samaira

October 10, 2023
By Jonathan Winkler

TNA Class of 2024


TNA Senior, Samaira, of Penn Hills has had quite a summer participating in programs feeding her passion for math and engineering. Samaira has completed Carnegie Mellon University's five-week Summer Academy for Math and Science (SAMS) program, and a week-long program through Robert Morris University and NAIOP Pittsburgh to explore the world of commercial real estate.

“I absolutely love math and science, and someday I want to become a mechanical or civil engineer,” Samaira said. “These programs have been really cool. I lived on campus at CMU and met so many different people. It was nice seeing minorities like myself, too. The experience was very ‘college-like’ with the independence and freedom to meet the professors.”

Soon after Samaira completed the SAMS program, she went on to explore another potential career path: commercial real estate.

“At the Robert Morris NAIOP Pittsburgh program, my team and I won first place for our design of a new eco-friendly warehouse. It had solar panels and everything needed to reduce its carbon footprint. I even won a personal award for being the ‘Most Transformative’ since I was nervous and shy for the first few days.”

Samaira hopes to be accepted to North Carolina A&T State University, Harvard, Columbia, or Georgia Tech. She credits her love of engineering and math to a SeaPerch program in which she participated when she was in 5th-7th grades. SeaPerch is an educational tool that allows students to construct remotely operated underwater vehicles using engineering skills.

In her free time, she enjoys reading adventure books (her favorite being Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson), doing math equations out of her own practice booklet, and cycling with Pittsburgh Youth Leadership (PYL).

“Cycling is relaxing and fun to me, and I completed my first trip with PYL to Cumberland, MD in the spring,” Samaira said. “Friends would tell me all about the trips they would go on, and I was never sure about it. Then one day, I said, ‘Okay, sign me up.’”

Samaira is appreciative of TNA Math Instructor Jason Scott for his consistent help and guidance.

“Mr. Jason is my advisor, and I have always enjoyed the way he teaches and how he is able to drop everything to help students understand something,” she said. “Even if you had trouble with other classes’ homework, he would help you. He always made time to read over my U.S. History papers!”