Augustine a delegate at National Youth Science Camp

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

Andrea Augustine of Stockbridge said she is excited about her latest opportunity to try something new while potentially making a difference in the world.

“I’m hoping that this will take me out of my comfort zone and burst the bubble that I’m living in,” said Augustine, 17. She is one of two Georgia delegates currently participating in the National Youth Science Camp in West Virginia through July 8.

Andrea Augustine is currently participating in the National Youth Science Camp in West Virginia. She plans to attend Rice University, majoring in biochemistry and cell biology, and minoring in neuroscience. Special photo

Augustine is a 2017 graduate of Eagle’s Landing High School, where she was this year’s valedictorian. She recalled the moment she learned, in March, that she had been chosen for the camp.

“I was absolutely ecstatic,” she said. “I’ve been wanting it since the eighth grade when I found out about the program at the State Science Fair.”

The annual program is held at Camp Pocahontas. Augustine and her fellow delegates have a full slate of activities designed to bolster their education in a curriculum known as STEM -- an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

She and 108 other top science students from across the nation and around the world are participants in the camp, said its Public Information Coordinator, Quinn Del Val.

“For the next month, the delegates will be immersed in lectures and hands-on directed studies led by top scientists and professors from around the world,” explained Del Val. “They will also have the opportunity to embark on many outdoor adventures, including climbing, camping, caving, and mountain biking.”

Augustine described herself as a person who has always had an “innate curiosity” about the world around her. That curiosity, she added, eventually led her to cultivate a passion for science.

“My foundation in science has been growing since the earliest days of my childhood,” said Augustine. “My mom was actually working on her doctorate when I was about 6 or 7 years old, and I remember that when I came home every day after school, she would fill me in on all of the amazing experiments that she’d done and give me mini-lessons on atoms and electricity, all of which blew my mind away. And so as time went by, my natural inclination toward science was fostered by not only my mom but also my entire family, teachers, and environment.”

Augustine achieved numerous statewide and national academic accolades throughout her high-school years. She has garnered awards at national and state conferences for Beta Club and Future Business Leaders of America for science, public speaking and business communication.

“I have done university-level, scientific research since the eighth grade on subjects ranging from colon cancer and nicotine to jaundice and Ayurveda to Alzheimer’s Disease at institutions such as Georgia State University, Clayton State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Emory University,” noted Augustine. “I have presented my research at global, international, national, state, and local platforms and have won many accolades for my research studies at all of these platforms.”

While at Eagle’s Landing High School, Augustine used her education as a way to benefit others. She served as the founding president of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America Teens Chapter at the school.

“We spread awareness of Alzheimer’s around our school and community as well as raise funds for Alzheimer’s research,” said Augustine.

Augustine plans to attend Rice University in Houston, Texas on a full-ride academic scholarship, where she will major in biochemistry and cell biology, and minor in neuroscience. She said she plans to take her passion for science to even greater heights in the coming years.

“I hope to go into medicine and, more specifically neurosurgery, but my ultimate goal is to go into government as it relates to health and public policy,” said Augustine.