by Darius Fernandez, YPIE Scholar 2025
The YPIE Regeneron Science Research Program hosted its third annual symposium on May 28, 2020. There were over 35 projects ranging from music psychology to cellular biology, all done independently by YPIE Scholars coming from various Yonkers high schools. The YPIE Regeneron Science Research Program gives YPIE Scholars an opportunity to participate and complete college-level research on any topic related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
This year, instead of going to the College Zone in Downtown Yonkers and being able to walk around to see the beautiful posters that students have worked on for the past year or two, the event was held virtually. Nevertheless, there were over 140 guests who came to support the Science Research Scholars, and all of them were amazed by the presentations. But, this is not just a program to most students. This is a chance for students to explore career options, network with people in their field of interest, and discover who they are.
Sofia Vargas-Arcia, a Sophomore at Yonkers High School, is currently researching non-intrusive, pre-imaging surgical devices to prevent seizures. Sofia had an extremely interesting journey within the Science Research Program. At first, she was interested in doing research related to music and dance. Yet, when she found out that she could research absolutely anything related to science, she decided to do research on seizures. She has personal experience with seizures, so this project truly means a lot to her.
“The Science Research program has given me an opportunity to better understand my condition and how it affects my life. It also gives me an opportunity to not only help myself but help others who have this condition.”
This opportunity has helped her understand what she is going through and how to treat her condition. While Sofia has learned a great deal of information related to seizure research, it has also given her a voice. “Through doing my research, I feel that I've gained a voice to advocate for others with my condition and have much more confidence within myself,” she explained. This program goes far beyond knowing scientific vocabulary and different research methods. It is discovering your voice, gaining professional skills, and learning self-confidence.
Without Regeneron aiding the Science Research Program, students like Sofia and Edalia would not have the opportunity to pursue a field that otherwise they would not have known about. Students like them have been able to assist the community in many ways.
Potoula Stavropoulos, Director of Corporate Citizenship, had some beautiful words to say regarding the symposium.
“At Regeneron, we believe that science has the power to change the future." Science has such a huge impact on society and how we run our daily lives. Young scientists in our program are vital to leading a new generation of scientific exploration.
"You are the future of science and we believe you all have the potential to be at the center of solutions for our world's most intractable problems...Congratulations to you all and thank you again to YPIE for providing these opportunities for students," Potoula went on to say.
The YPIE Regeneron Science Research Program has and continues to complete extraordinary achievements. Without YPIE and Regeneron supporting this program, our students wouldn’t have the opportunity to change the world. A huge thank you to Regeneron for believing and continuing to root for our YPIE Scholars.