Lina Maria Alfonso of Parsippany, a biology student at County College of Morris (CCM), was recently accepted into the Northeast Regional Alliance (NERA) MedPrep Scholars Program at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ).
The MedPrep Program is a free summer enrichment program designed to provide college freshmen and sophomores with crucial skills to achieve success on the MCAT as well as in medical school. The program, taught at either UMDNJ or Columbia University, receives funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration. The program is designed to assist underrepresented and disadvantaged students. All participants receive a stipend to compensate for meals and books for the duration of the program.
“I was so excited because I will not only be given the opportunity for MCAT preparation, clinical experience and research, but I will also be able to meet other students who share the same goal of going to medical school and of becoming doctors,” said Alfonso.
“Lina Maria is a highly motivated college student who exhibits both the potential and passion to succeed in a rigorous pre-professional program,” noted Dr. Maria Isaza, assistant professor and assistant chair of the Department of Biology at CCM. “We are very excited with her acceptance to the MedPrep program which will solidify her future goal to pursue a degree in the medical field.”
Alfonso will be attending the program at New Jersey Medical School—part of UMDNJ—in Newark this summer. Alfonso and the other students accepted into the program will commit to between six and seven weeks for three summers at MedPrep.
While a large number of students from New York and New Jersey apply for the program each year, only a limited number of applicants are granted acceptance. New Jersey applicants must be in good academic standing, a college freshman or sophomore, and have completed both college chemistry and English composition.
Alfonso intends to graduate from CCM in 2013 and continue pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor.
The MedPrep program provides a foundation and head start for students looking to pursue a position in the medical field. Students experience a rigorous academic journey over the course of the program and are provided with skills to not only better their chances at achieving a high score on the MCAT but also thriving in medical school and ultimately in health-related careers.