Xavier College Preparatory senior, Ximena Parra Rourke, won second
place in The Laboratory for Energy and Power Solutions (LEAPS) Military Infrastructure
Resiliency Challenge. LEAPS is part of Arizona State University and creates technical
and business solutions that facilitate the global transition to a resilient low-carbon
Rourke will receive a Second Place Prize of $2,000 to be used for academic expenses.
Her presentation provided a solution to Joint Base Tanker food waste: provide MERS
(meals, ready to eat) on site. She provided research on why it would work, the process,
and impact on military bases.
Computer Science teacher, Leon Tynes, Jr, said of Rourke, “Ximena worked diligently to
research, analyze, and provide a creative and practical solution for the competition.
Plus, she had a very limited time to produce her work. She is well deserving of this
All students at Xavier learn to code in their sophomore year. Many more go on to take
additional computer science classes. Xavier’s Computer Science Honor Society is the
largest in the state.