Our Islands, Our Future

Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) is proud to announce that one of their STEMworks™ students, Peyton Gillespie, Maui Preparatory Academy Class of 2021, is Ivy League-bound with honors. Gillespie, a shining example of a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) student, will be attending Brandeis University on a full scholarship and Humanities Fellowship in the fall. He will major in political science as a pre-law student with the goal to attend law school, work as a lawyer, and eventually run for political office.

“Working with our STEMworks team, Gillespie successfully grasped every opportunity that came his way,” said Leslie Wilkins, President and CEO, MEDB. “He participated in our work-based learning opportunities that helps build critical and creative thinking. His STEMworks Internship provided him a chance to collaborate and create project-based sustainable solutions for a variety of local and global issues. We are so proud of Peyton and wish him success in all his future endeavors!”

Gillespie reflected, “Participating in MEDB’s STEMworks Program for the last three years has been an incredibly impactful experience for me. Summer interning as a Kiai Loko (steward of fishpond) at Keawanui Fishpond on Molokai for my first two years fostered in me the values of leadership, teamwork, and family. It additionally immersed me in the history and cultural significance of one of the last remaining sacred fishponds on Molokai. Though last year’s internship program was virtual, I was honored to work as the Intern Liaison, and coordinated the design of the STEMworks Booklet, a sort of yearbook of the intern’s accomplishments. This role not only allowed me to hone my leadership, communicative, and collaborative abilities, but it also introduced me to a new skill, graphic design. Finally, one of the most important aspects of my work with STEMworks over the last few years has been the development of my relationship with Leslie Wilkins, the STEMworks team and my mentors. Hosting several Internship Cohorts and the 2019 Annual Ke Alahele Fundraiser has allowed me to get to know this amazing group. Thank you MEDB, sincerely, for all that you do for students across the state of Hawaii!”

Throughout my three years I have had the privilege of watching MEDB’s programs have significant impacts on individuals, allowing them to learn, grow, and succeed.

Peyton Gillespie, Maui Prep Class of 2021 and STEMworks™ student