New York City Students Celebrate Graduation from a Columbia STEM Program

More than 300 New York City students who participated in the State Pre-College Enrichment Program (S-PREP) at Columbia celebrated their graduation from the program this month. The event for students and their families included awards for select students, remarks from class speakers, and a reception.

S-PREP is a free high school and college preparatory program designed for seventh through 12th grade students interested in pursuing a career in medicine or related STEM fields. The program, offered by the Office of Student Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, runs from October through May during the school year and also holds summer sessions in July. Learn more about S-PREP.

Sandra Harris, vice president for community affairs and partnership engagement, delivered the keynote address at the closing ceremony, and Mirkelis De Jesus, clinical research coordinator at CUIMC, was the S-PREP alumni speaker. The event also heard from three student speakers–Daiana Azimova from Brooklyn Technical High School, Naila Montoya from Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy, and Clarissa Pagoada from Monroe Woodbury High School.

VP&S has administered the S-PREP program through the Office of Student Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging for more than 30 years. A small administrative team including Clara N. Leon, director, OSDIB Office and Programs; Katherine Rojas, program coordinator; Chayra Marrero, program assistant; and Yovanka Leroux, program coordinator, oversee the program, and Columbia graduate students serve as preceptors and program facilitators who teach courses.