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October 17, 2021

Local graduate heading to Stanford

Isabella Correa pursuing engineering

At 18, Presentation High School senior Isabella Correa is co-president of The Tech Interactive’s Student Board, has devoted more than 800 hours to robotics projects and will intern as a systems engineer summer at Lockheed Martin this summer. 

The Gilroy student (who grew up in Morgan Hill) chose Stanford University—where she plans to major in mechanical engineering and earth systems—over other schools including Columbia University. Not only does Stanford boast a top-notch engineering program, but also Correa couldn’t bear the thought of being too far away from her beloved Maltese, Molly. 

Correa attended six different schools before landing at Presentation. She attributes moving around to helping her develop a “sink or swim mentality.”

“I’ve always been a go-getter,” she said. “When something captivates me, I find a ton of ways to pursue it and satisfy those curiosities.”

Case in point: At just six years old, Correa spent hours tinkering in the garage, raiding her father’s toolbox for construction supplies. She used PVC pipes and fasteners to construct different courses, filling the pipes with water to see how she could move the liquid.  

Correa said she is grateful for the programs, classes and activities at Presentation High School.

“They share their current projects, which are usually STEM-oriented,” she said. “My favorite one was Professor Laura Doyle’s presentation on humanitarian engineering. She inspired me to build my own aquaponics system. Later, I invited her to speak at our Youth Climate Action Summit. That was a cool full circle moment.”

Her extracurricular activities include creating a Youth 2021 Climate Summit, a virtual event that included dozens of workshops, keynotes and speaker panels, and was attended by 900 students from around the world.

“Isabella is an example of what we at Presentation High School strive to accomplish with all of our students,” said Holly Elkins, president of Presentation High School. “We encourage our students to grow academically, but most importantly to give back to our community.”

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