2017 GALS North Carolina Alumnae

Group PictureFrom left to right: Emily L (instructor), Destoni, Zyrehia, Rose, Briyete, Marwa, Jackie (instructor), Daiana, Savannah, Samantha, Alice (instructor)

Samantha Cardenas

Samantha joined GALS after her sophomore year at Charlotte Country Day School. Originally from New York, she now lives in Charlotte. Samantha’s favorite part about science is anything related to medicine. She plays volleyball and is a captain of her team. During GALS, Samantha couldn’t believe how good the backcountry food (even canned chicken!) tasted.

Destoni Carter

Destoni participated in GALS the summer before her junior year at Garner High School. Originally from Virginia, she now lives in Raleigh. Destoni’s favorite part about science is animal behavior. She is always ready for a new adventure. Her risk-taking spirit was best exemplified when she screamed “YOLO” and then belly-flopped into a stream.


Rose DeConto

Rose became part of the GALS family after her sophomore year at Durham School of the Arts. Halloween is her favorite holiday. She enjoys listening to and playing creepy alt rock. During GALS, Rose could always be found making small fairy houses out of leaves, twigs, and moss. She remembers being at the campsite on top of that mountain and overlooking dozens of valleys. She says it was a view difficult to describe, and pictures don’t do it justice.

Briyete Garcia-Diaz

Briyete did GALS the summer before her junior year at Kings Mountain High School. She lives in Kings Mountain. Briyete’s favorite part about science is learning about animals. She loves to be adventurous and to try new things. During GALS, Briyete took every opportunity to sit peacefully by the stream and reflect – though when it came time for hiking, she was always ready to trudge.

Marwa Hassan

Marwa had her GALS experience the summer after her junior year at Riverside High School. She likes to watch movies and TV shows and relax with her cats. Her favorite memory from GALS was when we played psychiatrist and when we all hung out and played games.

Daiana Mendoza

Daiana participated in GALS the summer before her sophomore year at Harnett Central High School, located in Angier, NC. She enjoys spending her time reading and hanging out with my friends. She’s a very social person, and she loves meeting new people and talking to everyone. On this GALS trip, she enjoyed the fact that our small group quickly got close to each other, and we enjoyed the experience very much. We became our own little family.

Savannah Midgette

Savannah came to GALS as a rising senior at Manteo High School. Originally from Florida, she now lives in Manteo. Savannah’s favorite subject in science is animal behavior. In addition to her science skills, she also loves to cook. During GALS, Savannah could always be found trying new things, including licking a few slugs that made her tongue go numb.

Zyrehia Polk

Zyrehia joined GALS after her sophomore year at East Mecklenburg High School. She lives in Charlotte. Zyrehia’s favorite part about science is conducting experiments. In her free time, she has covered all her walls with fashion bags and made it into a memorial to her memories. During GALS, Zyrehia was always making us laugh and cheering everyone on.