Maricruz Velez is a first generation college student who will be entering her junior year at Livingston College. She chose to attend Rutgers because she believed it to be one of the best schools in New Jersey and was impressed with its numerous affiliations with outside companies and health organizations. Furthermore, she decided to apply to Project L/EARN because she understands that "research is a vital skill to have in the Public Health field.
Maricruz worked with Dr. Marc Schmitz to examine cultural disparities in parental assessment of ADHD symptoms in children. Furthermore, she would like to expand on her summer research during the upcoming academic year to "answer some new questions that emerged during the summer". She plans to attend graduate school to further her education in the field of Public Health or a similar social science field.
Maricruz believes she has gained personally and academically from her Project L/EARN experience. She feels that the bond that emerged between the fellow interns provided a nurturing environment for all of them to learn and grow. She also expresses that everyone involved with the program is extremely helpful and willing to do what they can to help. She feels Project L/EARN has exposed her a "vast number of opportunities that are available to [me]" and credits the program for giving her the "edge" she needed to compete with other graduate school applicants.