HIBBING — Gianna Fatticci of Lincoln Elementary in Hibbing will travel to the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis to take part in the National Youth Leadership Forum: Pathways to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) on June 23-28.
Gianna, 9, was nominated by her fourth-grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary Kim Halvorson, and is looking forward to gaining the hands-on experience that the forum provides. Halvorson also nominated another student named Sam Hardy.
During an interview this week at the Hibbing Daily Tribune, Gianna’s parents, Joe and Serina Fatticci, expressed their gratitude to the teacher for seeing academic potential in their daughter and also toward their family and friends for helping them raise funds to send her to the forum where she will stay in the university dormitories.
“It’s a nice small town full of people who care,” Joe said, adding that all the success that Gianna has had in school should be credited to all of her teachers she had up to this point, including those from Lincoln and Washington Elementary.
Gianna’s parents explained that she stays active in school by participating in choir and the Hibbing Academic and Talented program, as well as being passionate about competitive swimming. Gianna said she dreams of becoming a science teacher one day.
“If she’s not playing with her Barbie’s, Gianna is always playing teacher or school with her stuffed animals,” Serina added.
As Joe told it, their daughter is “a fun, normal kid” who enjoys spending time on the lake in the summers, playing Nintendo with her younger brother, Envo, and reading Harry Potter books. He also said she takes after her mother, a lab tech at the Hibbing-based Fairview Range Medical Center, regarding her interest in medicine.
Gianna said she has been learning about “the human body” in school where her class partakes in “science experiments.” She added: “We made slime once. It was gross.” She is looking forward to going to the forum to learn about forensics which she refers to as “crime-solving.”
Gianna is also excited about celebrating her 10th birthday on June 25 down in Minneapolis.
Beginning in 1985, Envision programs have served more than 800,000 students in over 145 countries, with programs designed to help students develop leadership, scholarship and career skills.
“As an alumna of Envision myself, I am excited for Gianna to meet, work, and collaborate with fellow high-aspiring students from other cities and schools,” said Amanda Freitage Thomas, SVP for Envision in press release. “At NYLF Pathways to STEM, students build the confidence and skills needed to excel in the classroom while gaining exposure to STEM fields and concepts. They learn how to adapt to and communicate in new situations, to new challenges, and with new people, which, given how rapidly the world is changing due to technology and innovation, are essential skills for success.”