Two Upper School Barons Named as Voelcker Scholars

Two Form 9 Barons were honored by UT Health San Antonio as Voelcker Scholars. They will be taking part in the Max and Minnie Tomerlin Voelcker Fund Biomedical Research Academy (VBRA) over the summer and throughout the remainder of their high school careers. Paulina E. ’24 and Avani G. ’24 have been selected to take part in the prestigious program out of only 23 students in San Antonio. 

The goal of the VBRA is to provide an immersive biomedical research, educational, and college preparatory program for San Antonio high school students. The VBRA seeks the very best rising sophomores in the San Antonio area to partner with outstanding biomedical scientists from UT Health San Antonio to promote excellence in scholarship and biomedical research training over a three-year period.

In year one, Paulina and Avani will participate in an engaging, hands-on, seven-week summer research program, as well as participate in a number of special enrichment and research-oriented activities throughout the traditional academic year. In years two and three, our Baron scholars will take part in a faculty-mentored research experience.

Paulina and Avani are not the first, and certainly will not be the last, Barons to be chosen as Voelcker scholars. In fact, Leah G. ’21 is finishing her third year after being accepted into the program in the spring of her freshman year.

Paulina said, “I was always interested in medicine as a kid, and it's been my dream to become a doctor for years, so I look for opportunities where I can learn more about different fields of medicine. I found out about the Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy by looking for things I could do over the summer that would be interesting to do, I was really shocked that this opportunity existed for high schoolers, especially since the program is three years long and includes research alongside a mentor scientist. The thing I'm most excited about is the hands-on research in a lab and being able to research with other scientists.”

Avani shared, “Something I'm excited about in the Voelcker program is starting my own independent research project. I wanted to join it because I've always been passionate about starting scientific research in high school and continuing it beyond. At Saint Mary's Hall, I have enjoyed the science opportunities given to me, and I would love to utilize the knowledge I have gained to move further into the science field. I hope to gain research experience and skills out of this program.”

Congratulations to Paulina and Avani on being chosen for this prestigious program! We can't wait to see what scientific discoveries they make as part of this program and in their future careers.

Visit the Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy website to learn more about the program.