My involvement with the Achievement Institute of Scientific Studies began in the summer of 2001. At the time, I was a shy young man whose interest remained in science and mathematics. However, my understanding of the applications of what a person can do with such interests can do was very limited. Through the program, I had begun my dream of being on the forefront of science and math.
Upon my acceptance at UC Davis, I was offered the UC Regents Scholarship, the most prestigious scholarship that any UC can bestow onto its students. My undergraduate experience was enriched by my involvement in AISS. At completion of my B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, I had a 3.90 GPA, been at top percentile of my graduating class consistently, and attended three undergraduate research conferences to present my research. I was a Regent Scholar, a member of the engineering honor society – Tau Beta Pi, received a Presidential Undergraduate fellowship from the Vice-Provost to conduct my own research, have appeared frequently on the Dean’s List (11 times) and served as a biomedical engineering academic peer advisor. More importantly, I received the biomedical engineering departmental citation for best undergraduate researcher and the Baskin and Lydia Undergraduate Researcher Award for the University of California, Davis.
I now attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the Biological Engineering Ph.D. program. I have come closer to my professional goals of one day conducting my own research lab. UC Davis along with AISS has provided me with this pathway – simply because I understood the application of math and science at such a young age. I feel that I have been lucky in my preparation with AISS to take full advantage of my higher education. My desire continues to be the catalyst that drives the passion to pursue my dreams and aspirations in the sciences.
I was a part of the first class of the Achievement Institute of Scientific Studies. I was one of the top students at Santa Ana High School. I knew that college was in my future, but as a 16 year old without an income I was not sure how I was going to get my foot in the door. The cost of college applications was too high for my parents to be able to pay for all ten colleges I was applying to. When I joined AISS, I saw it as a unique opportunity because I was going to be receiving a stipend that I could use for my college applications; and that is exactly what I did. Using the money that I earned from AISS I was applied to some of the top schools in this country and was accepted to among them New York University, University of Michigan, University of California, Berkeley and Yale University.
I received a scholarship from Yale covering 90% of the tuition cost. While at Yale I was able to receive and take advantage of opportunities that I never imagined. I received one of the top educations this country has to offer from some of the leading academics in the world.