A Brookings High School senior is making South Dakota proud.
Kashfia Rahman recently took home the title of first place in her category at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles. It's a five-day event that brings 1,800 competing finalists representing 78 countries.
Kashfia has a passion for studying the brain. It led her to the top prize in the Behavior and Social Sciences category of the world-renowned science fair.
I was extremely surprised and excited to get first place in my category. I work very hard for this project it's because I enjoy it but I never expected a large award," Brookings Senior Kashfia Rahman said.
Those awards include more than $4,000 in cash and checks as well as recognition from the American Psychological Association and the National Institute of Health -- just to name a few.
You had professors and professionals from top universities judging you but it was such a refreshing experience to get your ideas out there to professionals in the field but it's intense competing with other projects from around the world," she said.
She brought her extensive research she gathered with help from her high school peers as she studies the mental health of adolescents.
"Getting these awards gives you the push forward, helps me keep a hunger and thirst for knowledge. Strive to do more in your field," Rahman said.
Kashfia will finish up at Brookings High School in May 2018 and look to attend college studying psychology, neuroscience and global health. She wants to continue researching mental health in adolescents and eventually get involved in public policy.