Ashley Fortune ‘23, College of the Holy Cross
Although the summertime is recognized as a time for travel and enjoyment, it can also be a time when you embark on a learning journey. One of my most memorable summer experiences was not at a beach, but in a lab, researching marine life!
I spent last summer participating in a six-week paid internship at Boston University. The all-female STEM program was called GROW (Greater Boston Area Research Opportunities For Young Women). There may be similar enrichment programs near you, so go out and search!
Anyway, my lab, under my mentors James Huth and Chris Thomas, and Professor Cynthia Bradham, focused on studying the embryonic development of sea urchins. I know, it sounds like a lot, but trust me, it was amazing! Not only did I get to work in a lab with real instruments and actual sea urchins, but I also got to meet such amazing people along the way. We got to visit the BU Medical School and hear from professors and admission reps about the college experience.
Most importantly, the group of girls throughout this whole program remain my dear friends. We got to laugh, stress, and learn from each other as we all took part in different fields of STEM. The weeks of working in a lab and doing amazing experiments was surely a high school highlight!
So don’t succumb to the idea that the summer is all about enjoying the beach or the pool. Search for and take advantage of all the academic opportunities you’re interested in! You will meet wonderful people, experience amazing things, expand your mind and find a new sense of self.