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JuSTEMagine Board Member Spotlight

By Angel Bhandari

The JuSTEMagine board member spotlight is on Mona Lao! She is a senior at Millard North High School and is the Co-Director of Esports for JuSTEMagine. She is very passionate about helping the community and enjoys creating curriculum for JuSTEMagine.

Why did you want to be the Co-Director of Esports?

“I wanted to be the Co-Director of Esports because at a JuSTEMagine event I learned about Esports and I was immediately interested in it. I thought it was cool how we could actively compete with video games so I wanted to do something with Esports and JuSTEMagine.”

What are your responsibilities as the Co-Director of Esports?

“My responsibilities as Co-Director of Esports is to help promote and develop potential sponsorship opportunities.”

How do you think the role of Esports will evolve through STEM?

“I think the role of Esports in STEM will evolve rapidly and become more common within STEM. Esports has recently gained rapid popularity and many schools even include Esports as clubs. They're even letting kids play video games in schools and participate in competitions for it. Esports promotes technology whether it's understanding how to use codes or record plays. It promotes the learning of technology and provides everyone a hands-on opportunity for people to learn.”

What is your favorite Esports project you have done and why?

My favorite Esports project is the Lan Party event Thomas Nguyen, Co-Director of Esports, and I are helping to plan. I’m so excited about this project because we got funded $10,000 for this event, which means we have no entry fee and everyone can participate! Also, Alan recently got a chairman from Newtar on the planning committee to help us out, so I’m excited to see what an experienced logistics planner can bring to the Lan Party. Most times Esports tournaments are done from home or computer labs in schools, so I’m excited to be a part of an opportunity to help plan an event where we can meet other schools and play against them in person.”

What is the best memory you have while working on creating the curriculum for JuSTEMagine?

“My best memory I have while working with creating curriculum was having those check-in meetings with Jeff, Jen, Lis, and Pam from Prairie STEM. During the height of

COVID, I remember joining the Zoom meeting for the first time and being welcomed in. Whenever we had a meeting, they always made my day because they were always excited by the ideas I brought and they always asked how my day was. I could tell how much they loved what they did and it made me want to be a part of that and create a curriculum for JuSTEMagine.”

What do you hope JuSTEMagine can accomplish in the future?

“I hope in the future, JuSTEMagine becomes a more well-known volunteer organization name. I think what JuSTEMagine does within our community is amazing and I wish more people knew about what we did I wish it would gain more positive attention it deserves. I hope that one day JuSTEMagine grows as a larger international volunteer organization that way we can help out more communities.”

Congratulations Mona for being our board member spotlight, and thank you for helping us with all the work you do!

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