Life Science Scholar: Kalaya Hill ’20

Being a Life Sciences Scholar and member of the Pathways Program has impacted my life because I felt like I was a part of a community that was dedicated to my success as a student, a scientist, and a person. This opportunity has furthered instilled in me a sense of belonging to the scientific community and has continually motivated me to pursue a career in a scientific field.

I was born and raised in San Bernardino, California. UCLA was ideal geographically but what really sealed the deal was The Life Science Scholarship, which was an opportunity only presented to me by UCLA. I appreciate that I have been able to attend such a prestigious school and pursue my academic interests with the support of likeminded faculty and students while not being burdened financially.

In the Chute lab, my research focus was to investigate the key components and functions of the bone marrow microenvironment in the hopes of developing therapies for leukemia and other cancers. Currently, in the Allard lab, my research focus is to understand the impact of the environment on organisms and how those effects might be passed down through generations via epigenetic mechanisms.

My goal after graduation is to attend medical school so that I can become a physician and give back to the communities that propelled me to where I am today.

The advice that I have for future students who want (move next sentence up to this line)to pursue a degree in science is to understand that the road will be tough. The most important thing is to surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed and if you believe in yourself then it is absolutely possible to obtain a science degree. I also advise future students to always allocate time to focus on their mental health so that they won’t burn themselves out or cause unwanted stress.