Stanford students reflect an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development. 2000 characters
When most people think of Hawaii, they think of sun, sand, and vacation. When I think of Hawaii, I think of science. My junior year, I applied to the United States Department of Agriculture's Ag-Discovery program in Hawaii. Ten students were chosen across the nation, and I was lucky enough to be one of them. I arrived completely uncertain about what I wanted to study after high school, and left knowing I wanted to be a research scientist.
I'm a very dedicated student; I've always done well in school. I took advanced classes in math and science, but I never felt inspired. Before the Ag-Discovery program, I never thought I would want to study science after high school. My AP Biology class was interesting, but I thought if I was going to go into science, then I would be a doctor. Considering I nearly vomited when my class dissected fetal pigs, I decided the medical field was not for me. However, the Ag-Discovery program opened my eyes to all the different careers one can have with a science degree.
Ag-Discovery is an outreach program sponsored by the USDA. The "Ag" refers to agriculture; the programs cover topics such as animal science, veterinary medicine, agribusiness, and plant pathology. We lived on a college campus for two weeks, and participated in labs and lectures given by professors, veterinarians, and employees of government agencies such as the Agriculture Research Service, Wildlife Damage Management, and Plant Protection & Quarantine. We identified disease in crops and livestock, studied genetically engineered plants, and dissected wild boar. Rather than feeling sick to my stomach, I felt exhilarated as I correctly identified the liver and gallbladder.
Exhilaration was what I felt during my time in Hawaii, and exhilaration is what I feel now, planning my future in science. I sincerely hope I will be accepted to Stanford's School of Humanities and Sciences so I can pursue a degree in molecular biology, along with my love of science.