Scholar Stories

Enrique Neblett

Growing up in East Orange — a predominantly African American suburb of Newark, New Jersey — Enrique Neblett credits his strong work ethic and core education values to his mother, who was an educator. However, it wasn’t until he attended a predominantly white institution in seventh grade that he started realizing what would become his research passion and life’s work. As he recalls, “I was one of the few black students there. I didn’t know it at the time, but issues of race and class were very different from what I was accustomed to in my home environment.”

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Lauren Au

A lifelong San Francisco Bay Area resident, Lauren pursued a pre-dental major during her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Though she didn’t realize it at the time, she was gaining a grounding in subjects that would be pivotal to her work later on, including classes in biology, organic chemistry, and nutrition.

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Keisha Bentley-Edwards

From an early age, Keisha Bentley-Edwards recognized some of the injustices and inequities that face certain communities, particularly people of color and/or low-income communities. Although Keisha grew up in Santa Ana, CA in a working class neighborhood with gang violence, she was exposed to more resources than her peers, including a gifted and talented program.

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