ADRC Celebrates High School Scholars

June 30, 2022
ADRC High School Scholars group photo

Seated above is the inaugural class of the ADRC High School Scholars! From left: Mbaye Seck and his mother Rokhaya Seck; Maria Naranjo Vazquez and her mother Maria Vazquez Salto; Evan Rey and his mother Barbara Florenzan; Angela "Ash" Hernandez and Assistant Principal Barbara Gonzalez-Alarcon; Xavier Paulino and his mother Rosemary Duran. 

On June 13th, the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) held its first annual ADRC High School Scholars (HSS) Program luncheon, in celebration of the inaugural class, with several proud parents in attendance! In partnership with Dr. Rafael Lantigua, founding director of the Office of Community Service Programs, ADRC Director Dr. Scott Small and Administrator Allison Heaps co-created the HSS program with the High School for Health Careers and Sciences in Washington Heights. Dr. Small explains, “The goal of this program is to reach talented young people from backgrounds underrepresented in science and medicine, ideally at the high school level where a great difference can be made, and to encourage and inspire them toward careers in the field.” With resources provided by the ADRC, including virtual and in-person meetings, didactics, mock datasets, and site visits, the HSS program encourages self-directed scientific projects that foster a progressive learning experience, through which young scholars interact with ADRC leaders and other members of the academic community at Columbia. “I enjoyed finally meeting everyone in person," says scholar Ash Hernandez. "I had really good conversations about my project and learned a lot with Dr. Brickman and the others.”