Why did you choose to attend an early college high school?
I know what it’s like to struggle in life and have to make good things come from bad circumstances. I knew early college was an important opportunity I couldn’t miss. I felt like opportunities were much more narrowed down for me, but seeing that early college could provide me with the opportunities I wanted opened a lot of doors.
Why is a college education important to you?
College helps you as a person. You learn how to communicate, how to take action to help your community, and how to network with people around you. Even though this is just my first year at UHD, I have met so many new people, networked with companies, and gotten involved in so many organizations on campus. If it weren’t for college, I wouldn’t have the opportunities I have right now.
What are some challenges and successes you’ve had in college so far?
My first semester, I was kind of freaking out. I walked into junior-level classes as a seventeen-year-old girl. Since UHD is a commuter campus, the minimum age of the students around me was 25 or 26. It really lowered my self-esteem. But I started getting involved on campus. For example, I’m president of the UHD chapter of the Mathematical Association of America. I’m part of the UHD Scholars Academy, a STEM program. I’m also a peer tutor and mentor for other college students. That’s really helped me know that I am actually doing well. [UHD Scholars Program Coordinator] Mr. Kuzmick is always there for me. The people around me in GTF Scholars understand what it’s like, and it’s nice to be able to connect to people like that.
How has being a GTF Scholar impacted your college experience?
At first, I thought I was in this alone. But with GTF Scholars, we’re a close-knit family. We have a lounge area where we can talk about our problems, our classes, and how we’re doing, and we help each other out. We understand what it’s like to be young students in classes with older students, and what it’s like to struggle. We motivate each other and have each other’s backs.
What do you see yourself doing after college?
I’d like to get a PhD in Bioinformatics because I’m really interested in genes and biology. My end goal is to become a computational synthetic biologist. I want to develop algorithms to find cancerous genes faster so we can discover a cure.