STAMFORD — The list of extra curricular activities Gaby Baum didn’t take on while a student at AITE is probably much shorter than the list of the ones she did.

The 18-year-old philanthropist sits on youth and director boards for a number of nonprofit organizations, and still makes time for National Honors Society, student government, debate team and musical theater — to name a few.

“By getting involved in my school, I was able to really connect with other students and teachers and get a lot out of my high school experience,” said Baum, who graduates Monday from the magnet high school.

Outside of school, Baum has a passion for giving back, something she says she learned from her parents and grandparents. In addition to involvement in worthy causes like the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Food Allergy and Research Education (FARE), Baum is starting her own nonprofit organization centered on youth-driven change.

Baum is in the early stages of launching SMILE, which stands for “So Much In Life to Enjoy.” She’s still deciding on a cause, but wanted to start a community organization that is run entirely by a youth board of directors.

More Information

Academy of Information Technology & Engineering (AITE)

June 19

Number of graduates: 166

Keynote speaker: Rachel Garland, AITE Class of 2017

“I’ve been on lots of boards and they are very driven by adults,” Baum said. “The young people who get involved like me are often underestimated — we can do a lot more than people think we can do. I want to show that when young people come together we can make a difference.”

Looking to the future

Baum will major in business management when she arrives at Muhlenberg College, the liberal arts school in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, in August.

It’s an interest Baum said came on late in her high school career, having imagined herself bound for a medical degree.

“Something clicked about a year ago,” she said. “I took the micro and macro economics classes (at AITE) and I just connected with the subject. We read the newspaper every day and watched these markets change and then connected it to textbook learning. These were real-world situations.”

She hopes to connect her two loves — medicine and business — by focusing on communications or nonprofit work and someday working in hospital management.

In addition to her studies, Baum is already mapping out her extra curricular activities after her first orientation at Muhlenberg’s campus over the weekend.

“There are so many different clubs and activities to consider. I’m really excited to get involved in my school again,” she said.

Baum graduates as a member of the National Honors Society and the Science Honors Society among a class of 166 AITE seniors.

nnaughton@

stamfordadvocate.com; @noranaughton

Academy of Information Technology & Engineering (AITE)

June 19

Number of graduates: 166

Keynote speaker:

Rachel Garland,

AITE Class of 2017

Slideshow:

www.stamfordadvocate.com/graduations