Lauren Jones is a junior at Estancia High School. In addition to being ranked first in her class in terms of grades, the youngster is part of Business Professionals of America, is vice president of the student council, manager of the girls basketball team, a member of the volleyball and track teams, is in the National Honor Society, and is secretary-treasurer of her class.
The program she was accepted into at Brown University will allow her to study cutting-edge science, medicine and technology. With applications coming in from around the world, only 30 people were accepted into the week-long program. She hopes to go to college at Brown.
Jones said she has known for a long time she is interested in medicine. In fourth grade, her science project—which she won in both fourth and fifth grades—involved dissecting a bullfrog and a catfish and comparing their internal organs. In fifth grade she dissected a cow’s brain and compared it to a model of a human brain.
She said she also likes the idea of being a role model for women and girls interested in science and technology, and for students from small towns.
Her older sister has a degree in civil engineering. “She knows all about how there’s a scarcity of women in those fields,” Jones said. “It definitely inspires me to want to have a career like that.”
She continued, “It would kind of open doors for other women trying to get into this field. They may think it’s a very difficult thing, and expensive. If they see a woman, especially like me from a small town, if I work hard and get there on my own merit, maybe they’ll think they can do it too.”
The program takes place over spring break, and between the cost of the classes and getting to Providence, Rhode Island, Jones and her family figure the total cost at about $3,600, and they have started a gofundme.com account to help raise the money.
Asked what it means to her to be accepted to the program, Jones replied: “Like I said before, this is my dream school. The fact that I have this opportunity to go there is a dream come true to me. But another thing that is bigger than myself … is I can prove that a person who works hard and looks for these opportunities can make something like this happen. Someone like me who is from a small town, and you know, my family is not the richest family around, but on my own merit and through my own hard work and dedication, I can make my dreams come true, and I want to be an example of that, and show that other people can make that happen. It doesn’t matter where you come from, it doesn’t matter what your income is. If you work hard you can make your dreams come true.”
To help financially, visit gofundme.com and search for “Help Send Lauren Jones To Brown.”
Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at email@example.com.