CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Zevely Zone: How News 8's Shawn Styles helped launch a star student

When Rylie Bryant was a sixth grader, she was assigned a project on tsunamis and wrote an email to Shawn Styles for help.

Ten years ago, a sixth grade student in Carlsbad asked News 8's Meteorologist Shawn Styles for help with her science project. It turns out, sometimes a little help can go a long way. 

Jeff Zevely from the Zevely Zone traveled to Carlsbad to meet the little girl who grew up to accomplish her science dreams. 

"I grew up in Carlsbad," said Rylie Bryant, who is now 21 years old.  

When Rylie Bryant was a sixth grader, she was assigned a project on tsunamis.

"I used to watch the news with my dad and he said, 'you should try to call Shawn Styles,' and I was like 'I can't call, Shawn. I can't do that. He's famous,'" said Rylie. 

The 11-year-old was too nervous to pick up the phone and call the meteorologist.  

"I sent him an email and he ended up calling me back and he was like 'Yeah, I'd love to help' and he told me all about tsunamis and it was the coolest thing ever," said Rylie. 

Back at News 8 in Kearny Mesa at KFMB Stations, Jeff asked Shawn if he remembered Rylie.  

"Tsunami girl," Shawn said. "It's amazing." 

Jeff responded: "That is amazing - amazing that you helped her."

"No, it's not, because that is our job to pass along knowledge," said Shawn. "You do it all the time. I do it all the time. We share the knowledge we have with the youth and then it comes back and rewards us. Just like Rylie is rewarding me right now with you. Isn't that a great story?" 

"It really is," said Jeff. 

By the time Rylie was in high school, her love for science was erupting so much, she and her best friend created a program called Simply Science.  We dug up some footage of Rylie giving a volcano demonstration to young students for an Innovate 8 story News 8 did on her in 2014.  

"This is so much fun and I get to share my passion and see other kids enjoy it too," said Rylie in 2014. 

Just like Shawn helped her, Rylie was paying it forward to the next generation.  A young student remarked, "I can be whatever I want and I will be a science teacher if I want." 

After high school, Rylie went to Cal Poly SLO to study Aerospace Engineering with a concentration in astronautics, or as she puts it, "Space stuff."  Rylie's accomplishments have been out of this world. She helped design what could be the fastest solar-powered car in the world and a human powered submarine.  

Rylie seemed surprised we checked her resume.

"Wow. I can't believe you found out all of that stuff. Yeah, that's been my life for the past four years," said Rylie. 

Rylie just graduated from college and already has a job waiting for her.

Shawn heard that news and wanted to tell her: "Rylie, I am so proud to hear that you have done so well and I am glad to hear that I was able to - well at least give you one step on your road to success much luck to you."

To think it all started with reaching out to Shawn Styles. 

"Yeah it all started with Shawn Styles - so thank you," said Rylie.

Rylie was recently hired to be a project engineer at Lockheed Martin Space. She will be moving to Colorado in a few weeks to start her new career and News 8 wishes her all the best!