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Zaynab Taveras

zaynab taveras wearking a lion king tank top. She is smiling

Sometimes scholarships are the difference between attending ESF and not attending ESF.

"The scholarships I've received from ESF have been a huge help to me in paying for college," said Zaynab Taveras, recipient of a National Scholarship and the chemistry department's Sondheimer Scholarship. "As an out-of-state student attending ESF would not be possible without scholarships. It allows me more time to focus on my academics instead of worrying primarily about paying for college."

And were Taveras not at ESF, she wouldn't have had the opportunity to participate in the Research Experience for Undergrads (REU) program at Old Dominion University in Virginia. During the REU, Taveras worked on analyzing lipid biomarkers in ocean sediments. She presented her findings at the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) conference in Puerto Rico.

"The REU was a valuable research experience," said the biochemistry major, "and allowed me to travel to my first research conference."

An affinity for cold weather and a passion for the environment drew Taveras to ESF. "I've stayed because ESF's community is so welcoming," she said. "I liked that the people at ESF are united by their shared passion for environmentalism and sustainability."

Knowing how scholarships have shaped her academic career, Taveras hopes to eventually help students such as herself.

"I hope to one day pay it forward and help other students who might be unable to attend college otherwise."