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The Jackson Laboratory is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2023 JAX College Scholarship Program: Shakhnoza Mirzoyeva of Hancock, Maine; Darilyn Rivera of Meriden, Conn.; and Ella Jean Raymundo of Elk Grove, Calif.

The annual award provides $10,000 scholarships to high school students from underserved backgrounds in Maine, Connecticut and greater Sacramento, California who will pursue a college degree and aspire to a career in biomedicine.

“The JAX Genomic Education team encourages, trains and enthusiastically supports bright students who plan to enter STEM careers,” said Charlie Wray, Ph.D.,vice president for education. “It is a privilege to award these future leaders — Shakhnoza, Darilyn and Ella Jean — with a JAX College Scholarship Award, and we look forward to supporting their academic and career growth throughout their higher education journeys.”

In addition to the financial award, JAX facilitates internship programs for the recipients throughout their college career and sponsors annual campus visits.

2023 Connecticut JAX College Scholarship Awardee: Darilyn Rivera

Rivera will use her JAX College Scholarship for her undergraduate degree at University of New Haven, where she plans to do a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree program in cellular and molecular biology. Her dream is to become a surgeon, a career path inspired by her high school classes in biology, forensics, human anatomy and AP chemistry, and her passion for research and helping others through science. “In the end I want to be the person that people will trust their lives with — a person that calms someone’s fear and eases their pain,” she said in her application. “Being a surgeon to me isn’t just about the medicine and research, but the connections you can create with the simplest interactions.” Darilyn graduated from Francis T. Maloney High School where she was vice president for the class of 2023, and belonged to the International Spanish Honor Society, the International Thespian Society and the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

The Jackson Laboratory College Scholarship Program

To date, the JAX College Scholarship Program has awarded a total of$170,000 in scholarships to students from underserved backgrounds in Maine, Connecticut and Sacramento County, California. This program supports students whose goals align with JAX’s mission to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and with JAX Genomic Education’s mission to create diverse and inclusive educational programs where students feel valued and empowered.

JAX Genomic Education’s initiatives aim to ignite the passion of future scientists, advance careers and inform the public about the unfolding promise of genetics and genomics. In addition to the JAX College Scholarship Program, the Genomic Education team hosts and sponsors the Summer Student ProgramTeaching the Genome Generation, the Maine State Science Fair, STEM Open Houses in Maine and Connecticut, and additional programs.