Barbara Luiza Araujo,
Biology Student at SCSU,
Intern at Yale Pediatric Vaccine Epidemiology Research Group

I believe the most important things I have done to help me get here were to be hardworking, determined, and ambitious, and have clear priorities and goals. It was also important to cultivate a supportive network of people who uplifted me while also finding ways to support my peers.

My fascination with science has always been driven by a curiosity to unravel the mysteries of how things work. It all clicked for me in high school when I delved into human anatomy and physiology, discovering the intricate web of interconnected systems within the body. I realized then that medicine would be the ideal combination between my passion for human biology and my innate desire to help others.

If I could have a conversation with my younger self, I would emphasize the importance of embracing the non-linear nature of life’s journey. I was unable to pursue my desired college path initially and found myself navigating a completely different field, but while this detour may have seemed like a setback, in hindsight, it served as invaluable preparation for my current endeavors. I firmly believe that every experience unfolds for a purpose.

To overcome my biggest challenges, I had to find ways to adapt. Learning to ask for help and exploring the resources available in my school were pivotal. While I understood the importance of good grades, I also recognized the significance of building relationships—letting others know who you are, what you aspire to, and how you can contribute. It’s not just about academic achievements; it’s about fostering connections and showcasing your resourcefulness.

If I were to identify my central guiding principles, they would encompass nurturing curiosity, embracing change, cultivating connections, and approaching new experiences with an open mind.

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