Monica Lewis

Monica Lewis(2001)


BSc in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering

Employer/Job Title

Arup, Mechanical Engineer in Sustainable Building Design



I am writing to ask you: please do not cut funding for the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciencs (PGSS) – this would be a tragic mistake. I attended PGSS in 2001 at Carnegie Mellon University, and this experience truly did shape my outlook on life and my ambitions. The program helped to propel me forward, and I honestly believe that it was with help from this program that I was admitted to the MIT Class of 2006; I also firmly believe that lessons I learned at PGSS helped me to thrive at MIT and beyond. The class programs taught at PGSS help gifted students learn beyond what is accessible to them in the regular classroom. The Tas and Professors involved pour so much of themselves into their work, and this really shows through. They engage the students both in and out of the classroom, challenging us to really think and apply ourselves, all while helping us realize how much fun science and mathematics can be. The other students I met through this program were also incredible – it was truly a unique and valuable experience to be able to meet others with such interest and passion for math and science subject, allowing me to feel be myself and truly comfortable around them. This helped me realize that science was a field I would enjoy studying, but also that I connected with others who had these interests. Seven years later, I am still close friends with several people I met as a student at PGSS. I went on from PGSS to get a BSc in Aeronautical Engineering at MIT, and I now work as a mechanical engineer, designing sustainablebuildings for Arup, with future aspirations of owning my own business on day, driving sustainable design to new heights. I was set on this career trajectory because of my attendance at PGSS, and it would be a real shame if funding was cut to this program. The fact that it is fully paid by the state enables students of all backgrounds to come together, and have a truly rich learning experience. I realize times are hard right now, but now more than ever, it is important that we invest in our future, in the education of our future leaders, and programs like Pennyslvania Governor’s School of Excellence are critical in this effort.