image3170019Senior Vicky Garro approaches her science courses this year with a renewed excitement, after her hands-on experiences over the summer at Harvard Medical School, where she attended a leadership conference in psychology and neuroscience.

The program allows high school students to explore the relationship between the brain and human behavior, by sitting in on clinical psychology simulations and hands-on neurology labs.

Just to be accepted, she had to be recommended by one of her science teachers and meet the grade point standard. Vicky passed with flying colors, but she also brought an international background to the program.

Vicky is an exchange student, whose home is in Rome. She is in her fourth year attending Saint Viator, where she is a Querbes Scholar and a LINK Crew member, who helped international students during the opening orientation day.

“The leadership program was an amazing experience,” Vicky says. “I got the opportunity to combine my interests in medicine and neuroscience.”

image2The labs were designed to help students examine the anatomy of the brain, by learning the science behind neurotransmitters as well as comparing the scans of normal and abnormal brains.

“I learned more about the complexity of the human brain through lectures by various neuroscientists,” Vicky adds, “and do labs on various bugs as well as on animal brains and eyes.”

Students transferred what they learned about the brain to diagnosing young patients, after listening and assessing patients during a clinical simulation.

Ultimately, the program allowed Vicky to perhaps experience her future. She donned a white coat in Harvard’s nationally renowned medical facilities and found herself interacting with clinical psychologists and neurologists, researchers and medical students.