cameron banks science pic 2

Lift For Life Academy junior, Cameron

On March 21, LFLA junior Cameron received amazing news that he was accepted as a 2015 Summer Focus Scholar in Washington University’s Young Scientist Program. This program only accepts about 15 St. Louis area high school students each year after going through a competitive application and interview process.

As part of this program, Cameron will have the opportunity to complete a summer internship at the Washington University Medical Center, while working alongside two graduate students: one mentor who he will work with in the lab and one tutor who will prepare him for his research experience each week. Additionally, Cameron will be taking a scientific writing course and participate in a weekly program that offers guidance in working towards his post-secondary education and professional career goals.

Cameron will be working full-time on the internship this summer, and he’s excited that this program will help him delve further into his love of science.

“If it weren’t for this, I probably would have gotten a summer job,” said Cameron. “But I really enjoy science, so if I’d be working anyway, I might as well be working on something I love that helps me prepare for my future.”

After spending almost six years at Lift For Life Academy and taking all of the science classes he could fit into his schedule, Cameron has become increasingly interested in furthering his educationafter high school so that he can pursue a career in medicine.

“I think that medicine is a miracle of modern science and technology,” said Cameron. “My mom is a nurse, and I’ve always been inspired by the stories she tells about changing people’s lives by working in the medical field. She is my biggest inspiration in pursuing a career related to neurology. I want to leave an impact on the community just like she does when she goes to work every day.”

Lift For Life Academy science teacher, Kirsten Danzo

Lift For Life Academy science teacher, Kirsten Danzo

While Cameron’s mom has helped him develop his career goals, Cameron also cited high school science teacher Kirsten Danzo as a helpful resource in pursuing this scientific opportunity.

“I owe a huge thank you to Ms. Danzo,” said Cameron. “She gave me the push that I needed by encouraging me to apply and helping me through the process. I already knew about the Young Scientist Program, but I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get into it. But Ms. Danzo really believed in me and made me feel like I was capable of this achievement.”

Ms. Danzo echoed a mutually positive sentiment for Cameron’s hard work and abilities.

“Cameron is an engaged and inquisitive student who has shown a true passion and gift for science,” said Danzo. “I am so excited for Cameron to have the opportunity to participate in the Young Scientist Program, and I’m fully confident that he will tackle the challenge head on. I’m sure that this is just the beginning of Cameron’s journey in the world of science and research.”

As the summer draws nearer and nearer, Cameron is getting all of the details finalized for his summer internship at Washington University, like selecting a specific avenue of research, completing paperwork and awaiting the assignment of his graduate student mentors.

“I feel honored to be accepted into this program,” said Cameron. “I just can’t wait to get in the labs, start working, learning and experiencing new things!”

If you would like to learn more about Washington University’s Young Scientist Summer Focus program, check out this video: