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BRIGHT FUTURES – Tekoa’s Taylor Ardoin sets early plans for successful life

Eighth grader Taylor Ardoin already knows what she wants in life — a good education tops that list.

The young scholar is a student at the Tekoa Academy of Accelerated Studies STEM School, where she takes every advantage provided to her. As a part of many clubs and organizations, Ardoin excels in science and participates in two STEM related groups — Girls STEM and CSTEM.

CSTEM stands for communication, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“I joined Girls STEM, because I love science,” Ardoin said. “It’s a big thing in my life. I love that you get to experiment on different things. I get to create new things, come up with new ideas and put those ideas out into the world.”

Girls STEM Academy is a gender-specific program designed to encourage middle school students to apply concepts and skills through hands-on learning. Space Center Houston sponsors the program.

“What we’re learning about there right now is their new mission, going to Mars,” Ardoin said. “We are trying to see if there is any other life on Mars. We’ve built rovers, flown drones and done simulations.”

Ardoin, an A/B Honor Roll student, is also part of the Texas Alliance of Minorities in Engineering and Junior National Honor Society.

“Education is so important in my family,” she said. “Almost everyone in my house has been to college and has a good job. It’s imbedded in my family and they’ve taught me from a young age to work for what you believe in, get good grades and in the future I’ll get what I want.”

Ardoin is also on the varsity teams for basketball and volleyball, but said she always puts her education above athletics.

After graduating from middle school next spring, Ardoin intends to go headlong into her potential career as a veterinarian by volunteering at a local clinic over the summer.

She grew up with dogs, horses and animals.

“I grew up the only girl in my family, and my parents bought animals to entertain me when my brothers were gone,” Ardoin said. “Animals are just a part of my life. I’ve always wanted to be a vet and it hasn’t changed since.”

Having not yet graduated eighth grade, Ardoin is still taking steps to pursue her passion and attend the top-ranked College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science at Texas A&M.

“Next year, in high school I want to become a part of programs that look good on college applications,” she said. “I love learning about different things, and everything I do is good for college applications and looking ahead.”

Ardoin’s short-term goals include getting all A’s, being top in her class and acing her STAR testing.

Richard Johnson, a high school teacher at Tekoa, said he is excited to have Ardoin join the class ranks next fall.

“She is very involved,” he said. “She is one of the best examples of students at Tekoa Academy.”