FTV News Westford: At the age of 16, this high school senior has filed for her first patent. This is the story of Serena Beri who is a senior at Westford Academy. Growing up as a little girl, Serena always wanted to pursue healthcare and was devoted to caring for people. As a freshman, she became the first Massachusetts Finalist in Clinical Specialty; a competitive event organized by HOSA (Future Health Professionals), an International organization that prepares students to become leaders in the global health community later securing the 5th position in Anaheim, CA. This competition involves learning the skills of a medical profession and then demonstrating the skill related to the chosen profession. Serena excelled in her skills under the training of Dr. Meryl Gray Hunter, OD, Gateway Vision. During her training, she learned about the eye disorders, diseases, diagnosis and conducting eye examinations using diagnostic equipment.
In her sophomore year, Serena became the State President for HOSA and attended the International Leadership Conference in Nashville, TN representing Massachusetts. There she met other state presidents and participated in dynamic workshops and interactive activities to develop strong leadership skills. Under the guidance of Dr. Jaime F. Vallejos MD, MPH of UMass Medical School, Serena and the state officers led the Massachusetts HOSA State Leadership Conference which brought together 200 students and connected them to health careers and professions. In the past two years, Serena has been job shadowing Dr. Ashwini Sahni, MD, cardiologist at Southcoast Health Center. During this period, she learned about echocardiography, and conducted a study to learn about the pumping function of the heart using these techniques, mathematical modeling, and data analysis of rest and exercise stages. Serena presented her work at the HOSA International Conference in Orlando, Florida this summer.
Serena has not rested since; her curiosity and determination led to her idea of automating ultrasound and she recently filed her patent application. “The journey has just begun”, says Serena. Serena also works as a technician at Gateway Vision and helps patients with eye examination and diagnostics.
Along with the HOSA activities, Serena also participates in First Robotics and is safety captain for her team and has won awards at the FRC championship. Serena believes in encouraging girls to pursue different fields in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). Last year she conducted an outreach event at the Girls STEM fair where she spoke with over 200 girls about robotics and careers in STEM. She believes that every girl should be involved in STEM and with the support of professional mentors they too will enjoy every moment of it just like she does.