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Three teens complete UF's prestigious STEM program

Published: Aug. 4, 2017 at 5:43 PM EDT
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Three teenagers from Alachua County completed a prestigious STEM research program at the University of Florida.

Elif Kilic, Shradha Arun, and Julia Curtis were the three Gainesville teens chosen to enroll in 59th annual Student Summer Training Program.

"I think the rate of admission is lower than UF itself," said Arun, a senior at Gainesville High School. She said she was able to get hands on experience inside UF labs with UF professors. "If I want to do anything in medicine or in the science field, I'll know how to do all the analytical and technical aspects of it."

"I wanna be either a nurse practitioner or a physician," said Curtis, also a senior at GHS. She got to do environmental research. "We got these fish and we expose them to an anti-depressant found in our water ways and we saw how it affected their swimming ability in the swim tunnel system."

Kilic, a senior at P.K. Yonge, said she was encouraged to apply by her teacher. "My favorite part was the college experience because it was a lot different than I thought it would be."

The girls stayed in dorms with about 90 other students from around the country.

The program was completed by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. Alumni of the program go on to higher education, with work recognized worldwide. All three young women hope to apply what they learned to a stem career.