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Cohort II

Kelly Wadlington Heading link

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Kelly Wadlington is from the south side of Chicago, IL. During her career at Northside College Preparatory High School, she participated in various STEM programs and was also a part of the Spanish Honor Society. Outside of school, she is an instructor for a nonprofit organization that introduces middle and high school girls to computer science. She is majoring in computer science with a concentration in software engineering at UIC.

Emmanuel Seaton Heading link

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Emmanuel Seaton is from Montgomery, IL, where he attended Oswego High School. He was a part of the AVID program, the Black Student Association board, & a DEI Student Ambassador for his school district! He enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, and listening to music. He will major in Biological Sciences here at UIC.

Ty Green Heading link

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Ty Green, a Chicago, IL native and graduate of Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, is pursuing Pre-Nursing with the goal of becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesiologist. In addition to her studies, she operates her own successful nail business. As a high school student, Ty’s outstanding research on Dietary Diseases in France earned her recognition as a Borlaug Scholar by the World Food Prize Foundation. This accomplishment paved the way for her current research at UIC’s College of Nursing, focusing on Hypertension in African American women under the guidance of Dr. Lofton. She also actively participates in the Black Student Union and African American Academic Network, demonstrating her commitment to community and leadership.

La'darius Krishawn Yancey-Lynn Heading link

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La’darius Krishawn Yancey-Lynn is from Chicago, Illinois, and attended St. Charles East High School. At UIC he is majoring in Electrical Engineering. In the future, he wants to obtain his PhD and become a prominent researcher. To impact the world with his research capabilities and studies.

Asantewaa Jones Heading link

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Asantewaa Jones is from Plainfield, IL and attended Oswego High School. She is majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Public Health. She aspires to be a physician specifically an OB/GYN. In high school, she was a track and field runner, crisis text line counselor, and writer/editor for the DuPage NAACP newsletter. She likes to crochet, embroider, and read. Currently, she participated in research and volunteers at a free clinic.

Jean Petit Heading link

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Jean Petit is from St.Charles and graduated from the Illinois Math and Science Academy. She is majoring neuroscience and minoring in philosophy. She was apart of activities such as diving, yearbook, IMSA Student Production, and Black Student Union. Currently she participates in rugby, and volunteers with the crisis text line counseling services and UIHealth. Her aspirations include going to medical school and opening her own psychiatric practice.

Justin Vaughn Heading link

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Justin Vaughn was born in South Holland, Illinois and he graduated from Thornwood High School. He participated in extracurriculars such as JV/Varsity tennis, National Honor Society, Student Council, and Scholastic Bowl. He has volunteered at Zakat Foundation of America and the Chicago Marathon. His hobbies include gaming, watching anime, and reading books/webcomics. He’s majoring in Computer Science on the pre-med track.

Yassir Heading link

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Yassir attended Maine South High School in Park Ridge, Illinois. He is majoring in Computer Science and is interested in the computational sciences. He is currently involved in research in the Math and Computer Science department.

Jada Caldwell Heading link

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I am from Aurora IL. I studied at Waubonsie Valley High School. The degree I would like to study is Biochemistry, with a pre-med track. I would like to be a psychiatrist and hopefully own my own practice. I plan to go to medical school and pursue my master’s degree in the near future.

Alexander (AJ) Williams Heading link

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Alexander (AJ) Williams is from Normal, Illinois, and attended the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. He is currently a Computer Science Major with a Mathematics Minor and is planning to be a software engineer.

“I play basketball, coding, and video games in my free time. Award-winning community servant via Jack and Jill of America Inc. Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated 2x Honor Roll Student (College of Engineering and Liberal Arts & Sciences)”

Robert Washington Jr. Heading link

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My name is Robert Washington Jr., Im from Carol Stream Illinois. I attended West Chicago Community High School and I’m currently enrolled as a Civil Engineering Major at UIC. In high school, I did an Internship with Fermilab, I also made it to ILMEA for choir my Junior and Senior Years. My professional career plans include, working for a Roller Coaster Manufacturer or an Urban Engineering Firm. Outside of school I love traveling, singing, hanging out with my friends, drawing, watching shows, and Nolimits2.

Karim Mohamed Heading link

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Karim Mohamed is from Oak Forest and attended Andrew High School. He is majoring in Biological Sciences (Minor: Spanish for the Professions) and plans to attend Medical School. In his free-time, he enjoys working out.

Phoenix Savage Heading link

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Phoenix Savage was raised in Chicago, IL and attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. There they participated in their high school’s jazz band, drama club, art club, and badminton team. In their spare time, Nix enjoys drawing, listening to music, reading and playing video games. They are currently majoring in Biomedical Engineering.

Elizabeth Johnson Heading link

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Elizabeth Johnson is from Richton Park, IL, and graduated from Rich Township High School. During high school she participated in NHS, Student Council, and was the Co-Captain of her track team. She is currently majoring in Pre-Health/Pre-Science and is studying to become a pharmacist. Outside of school Elizabeth is a member of the pre-pharmacy club, a CODE leader, & an active BSU participant.

Kadija Sylla Heading link

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Kadija Sylla, originally from East Moline, Illinois, graduated from United Township High School. There she actively participated in organizations such as the National Honor Society, Youth and Government and Lending Our Voice for Equity. She also served as an ambassador for the empowering Girl-Crush group focused on empowering women in STEM and various professions. Currently pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois Chicago, Kadija continues her commitment to community engagement. At UIC, she’s involved in fostering diversity and inclusion through her participation in the Black Student Union and the National Society of Black Engineers. Her passion lies in cybersecurity and machine learning, as demonstrated by her recent work on a Deep Learning model designed to detect Deep Fakes. In her free time, she finds comfort in reading, painting, and watching dramas.

Omosigho Imasogie Heading link

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Omosigho Imasogie is from Chicago Illinois. She attended Niles North High School. She has plans of becoming a primary care physician and opening multiple practices in underserved neighborhoods. Her interests include women’s reproductive health and BIPOC health and she likes to crochet and read

Shayna Bryan Heading link

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Shayna Bryan is from Metro-Atlanta and graduated from Grayson High School. She is an aspiring Pharmaceutical Sciences major and plans to attend Pharmacy School to earn her PharmD. In high school she completed over 160 hours of community service and participated in the Philharmonic Orchestra, National Honor Society, Freshman Mentoring, Principal’s Leadership Committee, Pearls of Wisdom, and numerous other clubs as well. Shayna was chosen to be a part of the first group of mentors in the Pearls of Wisdom Program created to mentor younger African American girls who were at risk behaviorally and/or academically. In high school she received an Outstanding Achievement Award in Fine Arts, another in Technical Education in Forensics, and became a finalist for the Career and Technical Education Student of the Year Award. Outside of school she was a competitive dancer for 12 years and she enjoys watching TV. At UIC she is a Teaching Assistant in the Honors College and a part of the National Residence Hall Honorary.

Alena Morrissette Heading link

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Alena Morrissette is from Bolingbrook, IL and graduated from Bolingbrook High School. She is majoring in Biomedical Engineering. In the future Alena plans to pursue a career in biotechnology and have her own biotechnology start-up. Outside of school Alena loves to catch up on shows, Ice Skate, and practice gel-nail designs. Previously Alena has done research on finding the best material for motorcycle helmets which received a silver metal at the NAACP ACT-SO competition as well as recognition at the DuSable Heritage Association Gala. Over the summer of 2023, Alena conducted research at the Harvard REU program in the Aizenberg lab, for biomimetic swimming actuators. Alena has also competed multiple times nationally as a Synchronized Ice Skater on Teams Elite, winning both gold and bronze metals.

Jacob Ifeanyi Maduakolam Heading link

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Jacob Ifeanyi Maduakolam is from Chicago Heights and graduated from Bloom Township High School. I was in the National Honors Society, Student Council and ran track in high school. In college, I am in the pre-pharmacy club, Student government, and civic engagement and service leaders. I am majoring in biochemistry with a plan to go into drug design. Outside of school, I enjoy analyzing music, Writing poetry, watching TV, and trying new food places.