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Annie and her former STARBASE instructor, “Viper”

The second recipient of the Brigadier General Tim Cossalter STARBASE Minnesota Scholarship is Annie Francis. Annie attended STARBASE with St. Bernard’s Elementary School as a 4th grader in 2006 and a 6th grader in 2008.

At the time that Annie attended STARBASE, she found that school was challenging.  She had to work harder than most students because of a learning disability. “STARBASE was an amazing opportunity for me. I have a learning disability that makes it very difficult to read and write. The hands-on learning that happened at STARBASE made learning exciting and fun. I could understand what I was doing because I was actually doing it!”.  While at STARBASE, Annie remembers programming rovers and launching rockets.  She still holds a sense of pride in her rocket design, which went the farthest in her class. She remembers leaving the experience feeling more confident in STEM and a growing interest in science. As a high school student at East Ridge High School in Woodbury, Annie shared this interest in science through the school’s science outreach program, a club that allowed her to go to nearby elementary schools to do ten minute demonstrations for students.

After graduating from East Ridge in 2014, Annie attended Winona State University where she majored in Business, but later transferred to the University of Minnesota to study Early Childhood Education, a path that will allow her share what she has learned about perseverance in learning and education. In the future Annie hopes to teach kindergarten in an urban environment.

When asked what advice she has for current STARBASE students, Annie says “Enjoy the experience and look for similar programs, so that you can continue to learn.” These are truly wise words from someone who embodies dedication and perseverance in learning.