Tara had been a double major in Psychology and Statistics at Rutgers College. She applied to Project L/EARN because "it seemed like a really intensive program geared towards getting my foot into my chosen program in the health field." She had worked along with Dr. Howard Leventhal on her independent research project that assessed how beliefs about medications affect herbal supplement use in the elderly population.
Tara is very knowledgeable about computer programming, and worked in the Management Information System and the Information Technology department of two different companies on previous summer vacations. She has also volunteered as a tutor for math, chemistry, and English, and is active in her church and around her community.
Tara's experience in Project L/EARN showed her that she wanted to use her computer and math knowledge to apply to a social science, especially something dealing with health. Her shift in interest was due to the opportunity that Project L/EARN provided her to "prove or disprove a hypothesis. It's not just numbers; it's a real-life result that actually makes sense." Before Project L/EARN, she "knew [she] wanted to continue [her] studies after college, but I definitely want to go to graduate school now."