Stanford Medical Youth Science Program Participant Q&A with Tobertha Torbor

Stanford Medical Youth Science Program Participant Q&A with Tobertha Torbor

Torbertha Torbor, who graduated in 2008 from Media Academy, participated in the Stanford Medical Youth Program. Deadline is Feb. 15 so students who are interested should apply as soon as possible.

Torbertha Torbor, a 2008 graduate of Media Academy, participated in the Stanford Medical Youth  Program before her senior year and went on to earn a degree from University of California, Berkeley in 2012. She answered some questions below about her experience with the Stanford program.

Q: How did the program affect your interest in science?
A: It elevated my interest in science, opened many doors for me throughout my college life, and looks pretty good on my resume. Each time I have an interview, my interviewers always ask me to talk about my experience at Stanford — this is how good the program is.

Q: Would you recommend this to people who have an interest in science?
A: Yes, and even if they don’t have an interest in science, they should still participate anyway … great program, great networking, excellent lifetime experience.

Q: What were the best experiences you had in the program?
A: Working at the hospital with doctors and nurses and gaining hands-on experience. Watching an operation in the operating room.  Working with my peer group. There was a talent show every weekend, group fun activities and meeting new people, some of them are my best friends now.

Q: What major projects or work did you have to do?
A: Group research projects, intern at the Stanford Medical Hospital, and attend life-engaging workshops. Participants receive one-on-one and group college admissions counseling, essay and resume writing guidance. [Also they get help with] presentation skills and PowerPoint training.

Q: How long was the program?
A: Five weeks

Q: Why did you get involved in this program?
A: I was interested in science and just wanted to explore new things and see if science was really for me or not.

Q: Do you have to do group or solo projects?
A: Group research project and presentation at the end of the program.

Q: Did you have to stay at Stanford for the program?
A: Yes, I stayed on campus and had access to some of the campus facilities.

Q: What are the requirements to apply for this program?
A: [ You have to be a] sophomore or junior in high school. At least have a 3.0 science GPA, the program do understand some circumstances, so apply anyway even if your GPA is not 3.0. Be a low-income first generation student. Students must be interested in science (just the requirement, but explore it anyway, because it’s a good experience). An initial online application where the applicant provides basic background and contact information. A completed participant application form and accompanying essays. A copy of your high school transcript and two letters of recommendation. One letter should be from a science teacher and another from a teacher, counselor, principal or mentor.

Q: How did you get involved in the first place?
A: One of my teachers, Mr. Chan, recommended the program to me and I did some research myself.