I've loved biology all my school career and being a part of a larger project has always been a dream of mine. Through cold calling, I made contact with the Tang Laboratory at UChicago where I have taken on a position under a grad student researching protein structure and function. My research involves looking at the ECE-1 protein and figuring out how I can characterize it's motion through computer simulations and then determine mutation sites where we can modify this protein to target a specific substrate that will help lower blood pressure in patients. It's been an amazing journey thus far and I can't wait to progress through this experience!
The Illinois Leadership Seminar is a gathering of the state's brightest leaders for a day of training and self-discovery. The program, led by A'art is extremely selective, only taking 1 student per high school. I was fortunate enough to represent my school in this program where my mind and self conscious were opened up and I was taught to be myself. This program taught me the importance of valuing other's personalities and treating them the way they want to be treated. It was an exciting event that showed me how much more I can grow as a leader.
Taekwondo has been a passion of mine for over 10 years so it's been amazing to learn and grow through the sport at such a level where I can teach younger students. It's an incredibly rewarding experience that has taught me patience and the imortance of having an adaptable mindset.
The Northwestern Medical Discovery Program is a competitive program hosted by Northwestern Medicine to expose its students to the world of healthcare and medicine. I was one of 20 students chosen from Lake County to participate in this program which involved interviews with leaders in medicine and medical students and visits to the Lake Forest Northwestern Hospital and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago. This program showed me the ins and outs of the medical field an has gotten me excited for the future.
STEAM Scholars is a program led by Brad Schneider, the house representative from my congressional district. I was one of two students to represent my high school in this eye-opening program where we explored STEAM innovations in the community through trips to local areas such as the Chicago Botanical Gardens and the local robotics factory.
Ever since I watched the 2016 summer olympics, I've been devoted to playing volleyball. The peace of mind and freedom it brings along with the exhileration of the game is uncomparable to any other sport. I started playing club volleyball in 6th grade an I haven't looked back. Since 7th grade, I've been team captain of my team an have led us to multiple top 5 and top 3 finishes. Volleyball is incredible because it forces you to trust your teammates, a quality that lends itself to patience and forgiveness in the real world.
The ARC is the Academic Resource Center at my high school and since Sophomore year, I've been a tutor there. In the ARC, I've guided students through many difficult concepts and questions in subjects like geometry, algebra 2, chemistry, biology, and precalculus. Teaching a concept is always difficult because it's important to frame it in a way that the student can understand. Being in the ARC has taught me how to step back and approach a problem from different angles to find an agreeable solution.
TRY stands for Teens Reaching Youth and it's a selective program at my middle school where we supported and guided elementary students through their school work. This was my first experience with teaching kids and it had a lasting impression on me. Even though it didn't last long because of covid, I was able to complete more than 10 sessions with 3rd grade students, building a connection and set of shared experiences with them. This incredible opportunity with TRY introduced me to the world of helping youth, a world I haven't left since.
Whether it's math team, science team, scholastic bowl, FBLA, or FMPA, I've been involved in a lot of clubs throughout my time in high school. With many of them being competitive, it's been important for me to do my best while still balancing all my other activities. Through this, I've been able to enjoy a lot of success in these clubs, elevating my skillset to encompass a broader range of topics and getting the opportunity to meet and befriend amazing students at my school.