Meet Vertex’s 2022 Science Leaders Students: Derya Balata and Teame Araya

September 29, 2022

Congratulations to Teame and Derya, Vertex’s latest Science Leaders Students! As they get able to hit the books for his or her freshman 12 months on the College of Massachusetts, let’s introduce you to those two excellent college students who’ve been chosen to every obtain a four-year, full scholarship to pursue a STEM-related course of research.

An image of Derya Balata smiling in front of a poster board

Derya Balata, future dentist 

UMass Boston 

Main: Biology 

Derya was born and raised in Boston, whereas her household comes from Kurdistan. She lives in Dorchester and graduated from the John D. O’Bryant Faculty of Arithmetic and Science. Rising up, she was all the time considering science and biology — the research of life. “I used to be all the time occupied with how issues are created and desperate to be taught extra about the way in which issues are created,” stated Derya. At first, she thought she needed to be a physician however is now pondering extra concerning the discipline of dentistry. Both method, her objective is to assist individuals and to “all the time be in an atmosphere full of individuals and figuring out I’m serving to them.”  

She took her first biology class in highschool and first realized about Vertex and the Studying Lab on a discipline journey her freshman 12 months. She cherished the corporate and knew she would return. “I instructed myself I’m going to come back again. I’m going to work right here. And once I put my thoughts to one thing — I wish to get that factor accomplished.” Her persistence paid off, and she or he joined our Bridge-to-STEM Careers cohort just about final spring, and she or he returned this summer time as highschool intern AND certainly one of Vertex’s two Science Leaders Scholarship recipients. 

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When she discovered she was receiving the scholarship, she was very stunned. Who was the primary individual she shared the information with? Her mother. It was a really proud second for her mother as each of her older youngsters are going to varsity and receiving scholarships. Derya’s older brother is learning engineering and will probably be a junior at Wentworth this fall. It’s a proud second for Derya as properly, being one of many first in her household to go to varsity. She’s keen to indicate her mother and father that their sacrifices — shifting from their homeland to a brand new and unfamiliar nation — have been price it. 

As a school pupil, Derya is happy to discover all of the biology division has to supply, community, be taught extra concerning the discipline of medication, and proceed to develop as a younger skilled. She’s additionally trying ahead to becoming a member of the Kurdish Pupil Affiliation, which is a membership devoted to educating the neighborhood about Kurdish tradition and historical past. 

An image of Teame Araya smiling

Teame Araya, future physician 

UMass Amherst 

Main: Biology 

Teame grew up in Eritrea and moved to Boston on the finish of 2018 via a refugee group (which took him from Eritrea to Sudan and Niger earlier than coming to the USA). He attended Boston Worldwide Excessive Faculty and graduated as valedictorian of his class. His favourite STEM topics are biology and math, and he hopes to turn out to be a physician sooner or later. “Since I used to be a baby, I needed to enter the medical discipline,” stated Teame. “I wish to be a physician, as a result of within the place the place I grew up in Eritrea, particularly within the countryside, it was very tough to have entry to well being care. In order that has impressed me to be within the medical discipline to do my half, even when I can’t repair every little thing.” He would be the first individual in his household to go to varsity. 

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Teame was a summer time intern final 12 months within the Studying Lab, thanks partly to assembly Chiruza Muhimuzi, certainly one of Vertex’s 2021 Science Leaders Scholarship recipients. Chiruza inspired him to use for each the digital internship final 12 months and the scholarship at Vertex! Teame returned to the Studying Lab in individual this 12 months and was inspired being round scientists and different Vertexians. Between being within the workplace and dealing along with his supervisor and mentor, he stated, “that was very inspiring, and it simply looks like I can obtain my objective. It gave me confidence in myself and my course.” 

As he enters UMass, he appears to be like ahead to creating new mates, his research and dealing in a lab, becoming a member of new golf equipment, and collaborating in neighborhood service tasks. One factor he took away from this summer time at Vertex was recommendation to be genuine. Previously, he’s tried to cover a part of himself as he didn’t wish to stick out as an immigrant. He felt empowered by others to “be your self — that’s what makes you fascinating. That’s why extra individuals will attempt to put money into you.” He’s trying ahead to going to varsity and simply being himself. 

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What’s the Vertex Science Leaders Scholarship? 

The Vertex Science Leaders Scholarship was established in 2014 and is an integral part of Vertex’s international STEAM training program and $50M dedication to STEAM training. By way of this program, Vertex helps college students pursue a profession in STEM whereas additionally aiming to interrupt down obstacles and create financial transformation for people who find themselves historically underrepresented in biotech.  

For the Boston Studying Lab, college students from associate Boston Public Faculties excessive colleges are eligible to use for the scholarship, which is awarded yearly to 2 college students. It offers monetary assist for tuition, charges, housing and books, in addition to particular entry to the Vertex school summer time internship program. Vertex additionally companions with Backside Line to supply mentoring and assist to the students earlier than, throughout and after school.

Everybody at Vertex is wishing Derya and Teame a lot success of their first 12 months of school and appears ahead to seeing them again at Vertex subsequent summer time as school interns.