by Samiyra Afife (SHS Class of 2021)

By receiving the Spark Foundation Summer Opportunity Scholarship from Kenneth Rendell, I was able to take part of Yale Young Global Scholars during the summer of 2020. During a week-long experience in the Applied Science and Engineering/Biological and Biomedical Session, I was able to position myself in situations where I had the ability to explore scientific fields online. Courses throughout my sessions included topics regarding epidemics and humankind, the immune system and cancer, and contagion and the ontological conception of disease. 

Yale Young Global Scholars allowed me to be a part of a diverse community and create life-long connections that have strengthened my passions to address global challenges in the future. By attending online simulations, sitting in online lectures from Yale faculty, discussing challenging topics, and presenting a final project, I began to learn how enthusiastic students like myself can create opportunities to immerse ourselves within complex issues.

Through Yale Young Global Scholars I was able to continue my passion regarding science through a Yale-led undergraduate project called The Personality Project. I was asked to complete a personality test that would delve deeper into my social behaviors, communication habits, and even political preferences. When the results came back, I was shocked, to say the least. I didn’t know that the test would be able to determine that I preferred controversial conversations over small-talk, or that I had a strong dedication to my studies. Soon after getting my results, the leader of the project reached out to Yale Young Global Scholar students and wanted to form a small group of enthusiastic, aspiring researchers who wanted to contribute their perspectives to the project. After applying, I was granted the opportunity to work with the media team. Instantly, I got to work. Spending hours watching videos of Cameron Berg describe his models and thought process, I began to sketch designs to eloquently display his ideas to the public. Utilizing my graphic design skills allowed me to construct a digital model which would soon be the logo used for The Personality Project website, research publications, and advertisements. From this project, I soon realized the immense correlation between science and art and how it could truly impact the world around me. 

Reaching broad ranges of individuals from across the globe and expressing various identities through my artwork was exhilarating. I never knew I could combine such vastly different concepts into a singular project that could change the perception of neuropsychology and personality. From this project, I knew I wanted to continue pursuing interdisciplinary research opportunities throughout college and beyond. Without immersing myself in a community that Yale Young Global Scholars provided for me, I would have never been able to create such long-lasting relationships and future research opportunities.

(images used with permission from Samiyra Afife and Yale Young Global Scholars Program)