Emily Raley


My name is Emily Sierra Raley- I’m 16 and a sophomore at SHC. My mom is a psychologist- she used to be a professor, but now she has her own clinical therapy practice- and my dad works for Google as a software engineer. My grandma was an engineer, and I also have a cousin who is a marine biologist and a cousin who is an airplane mechanic. Like many of my family members, I hope to work in STEM one day.
Science and math are my favorite subjects. This year at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep, I am taking Advanced Algebra/Trigonometry, and I hope to study calculus in the next few years. Besides these two subjects, my interests include reading, theater, music, and scuba diving. I love to read, and I’ve read too many books to count in my life. The most challenging, but notable, one was Moby Dick, which I read the summer before sixth grade. It took me about two weeks to read, reading several hours a day. I couldn’t understand it well enough to pick out and remember minor details, but I got an A on my book report project. I like to grow plants in our garden. I am currently growing basil, lettuce, and California poppies, which just sprouted. I also have an African violet plant and a succulent terrarium. Theater and music are my art-related passions. Since fifth grade, I have been in five musical productions with a small kid’s theater company, and I have also done multiple theater summer camps. I used to play the violin for a year, and I used to play the flute for two years, which I was moderately proficient at. I currently play piano, and I am still an intermediate-beginner. Scuba diving is a hobby I picked up after my dad got certified. Six years later, I completed my certification too. We enjoy scuba diving together when we can, and when I’m older I hope to participate in Reef Check. My dad is a volunteer for the program, where divers survey and count different species in the Monterey Bay to study population growth in aquatic life.
Other things I have done include volleyball for one year, ballet for eight years (ranging from 1-6 hours a week), school choir, student council (2 years), campus ministry, the school science fair (I won honorable mention one year), and the young authors’ fair at my school (I won first place both years). Sometimes I like to write poetry, journal entries, or short stories when my brain is very active. I also enjoy solving challenging math problems, thinking about new technologies, experimenting with baking/cooking, swimming, and of course, spending time with my family, friends, and dog.
Something I’m very passionate about is the environment, and I want to do what I can to help protect the Earth. I think a lot, sometimes about nothing in particular, I just have a brain that’s always active. I have come up with several ideas for big projects that could help with issues such as climate change and ocean pollution. Hopefully, one day, I can put my plans into action and actually make a difference in the world, not just for humans, but for everything that is on the planet.
I aspire to be an environmental activist, actress (I love acting), and a scientist. I would love to have a job involving space and astrophysics, but I’m also very interested in marine biology and learning more about ocean species. Whatever direction I end up going in, I hope that i2 can help me get on the right path to get to where I want to be.


The i2 Journey Begins

So far, i2 has been a new experience for me, and I’ve enjoyed it. I have a lot of new friends in my i2 classes that I’ve gotten to know well. As for the program itself, I would say I’m impressed. The projects are really creative and it’s hard to believe that high schoolers put […] Read more

i2 Projects

Plastic Ocean

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is infamous for being a trash island the size of Texas and for accumulating plastic in the ocean that sea turtles get sick from eating. However, there is a lot more to it than what’s on the surface (pun intended).

Project details