Kyra Henriques takes on it all


Logan Hayes

Senior Kyra Henriques places second in Oviedo High School’s top 10 seniors.

Hunter Fuehrer, Sports Editor

At a young age, Kyra Henriques was diagnosed with aplastic anemia – a rare bone marrow disease. Now second in the class of 2023, she has skyrocketed to the top through her impressive intellect and hard work.

After her diagnosis in elementary school, she then received a bone marrow transplant from her brother. This is what started her interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

“Being part of the top 10 of my graduating class was always my goal,” Henriques said. “I’m very excited to be salutatorian. I know the wealth of knowledge I’ve gained through the additional coursework will help me in life as well as in my future studies.”

Henriques started participating in Science Fair competitions in sixth grade. Her most recent project, where she developed a raspberry pi-powered ferrofluid-based prototype to magnetically extract microplastics from water, has won her recognition in various competitions. 

This project would see her place second in the Chemistry category at the International Science and Engineering Fair, in the top 10 at the International Spellman Clean Tech Competition, and first in the Florida Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.

As a sophomore, she was selected by the U.S. State Department as a TechGirl Ambassador where she would collaborate with girls from primarily Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries to help further their love for STEM through service projects and research.

Later, she earned an opportunity to collaborate with girls from around the world conducting computational biology/bioinformatics research at Virginia Tech, which was eventually published. She was also selected as a Yale Young Global Scholar, where she had the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded students from around the world on current global and scientific challenges.

“My advice to other students aiming to make the top 10 of their class is to take challenging courses they are interested in. This makes the coursework much more enjoyable and worthwhile,” she said.

Founder and President of OHS Women in STEM chapter, Henriques aims to empower high school girls to be a part of the movement to increase female representation in STEM through workshops and guest speaker events.  The goal is to create a community for girls interested in STEM to learn more about their skill sets and motivate them to pursue STEM-focused careers.

She is also the President of Bioscience Club, where she helps to organize labs, guest speaker events, and outreach activities to enable students to explore the field of Biotechnology.

“I’ve performed STEM demonstrations for kids and guided visitors of all ages,” Kyra Henriques said. “In my free time I play the piano, bike, paint, and volunteer at my church.” 

Kyra has taken over 15 AP courses, as well as 15 dual enrollment courses at the same time she worked tirelessly in the Biotechnology program for four years. To build up her GPA, she took several courses that interest her outside of the required school course load.

Kyra’s greatest inspiration is her brother, who was Seminole High school’s IB valedictorian in 2021. He helps inspire her to persevere and stay positive when things don’t go as planned. Her goals for after high school is to go to college to study Biomedical Engineering, with her ultimate goal is to give back to the medical field by helping find cures and treatments for young children suffering from rare disorders.