2023 JAX College Scholarship recipients announced

Ella Jean Raymundo, winner of the 2023 JAX college scholarshipElla Jean Raymundo, the California winner of the 2023 JAX college scholarship

JAX awards three students with $10K scholarships, a total of $170K in scholarships granted since 2018. JAX’s annual scholarship, now in its sixth year, recognizes high school students from underserved backgrounds pursuing careers in life sciences and health care.

The Jackson Laboratory is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2023 JAX College Scholarship Program: Shakhnoza Mirzoyeva of Hancock, Maine; Darilyn Rivera of Meriden, Conn.; and Ella Jean Raymundo of Elk Grove, Calif.

The annual award provides $10,000 scholarships to high school students from underserved backgrounds in Maine, Connecticut and greater Sacramento, California who will pursue a college degree and aspire to a career in biomedicine.

“The JAX Genomic Education team encourages, trains and enthusiastically supports bright students who plan to enter STEM careers,” said Charlie Wray, Ph.D.,vice president for education. “It is a privilege to award these future leaders — Shakhnoza, Darilyn and Ella Jean — with a JAX College Scholarship Award, and we look forward to supporting their academic and career growth throughout their higher education journeys.”

In addition to the financial award, JAX facilitates internship programs for the recipients throughout their college career and sponsors annual campus visits.

2023 Maine JAX College Scholarship Awardee: Shakhnoza Mirzoyeva

Shakhnoza Mirzoyeva

Mirzoyeva will use her JAX College Scholarship for her undergraduate degree at the University of Southern Maine where she plans to major in biochemistry. Inspired by personal experiences, including her grandmother’s battle with cancer, she hopes to one day become an M.D./Ph.D. and help discover new medical treatments through biomedical research. “My determination to learn more about biomedicine grows stronger as I continue to pursue my STEM interests,” she wrote in her application. “There are countless opportunities to make discoveries that could lead to new medical advancements.” Mirzoyeva graduated from Mount Desert Island High School, where she was in the National Honors Society, the Olympia Snowe Leadership Program, and was a summer intern at JAX in Laura Reinholdt’s lab.

2023 Connecticut JAX College Scholarship Awardee: Darilyn Rivera

Darilyn Rivera 

Rivera will use her JAX College Scholarship for her undergraduate degree at University of New Haven, where she plans to do a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree program in cellular and molecular biology. Her dream is to become a surgeon, a career path inspired by her high school classes in biology, forensics, human anatomy and AP chemistry, and her passion for research and helping others through science. “In the end I want to be the person that people will trust their lives with — a person that calms someone’s fear and eases their pain,” she said in her application. “Being a surgeon to me isn’t just about the medicine and research, but the connections you can create with the simplest interactions.” Darilyn graduated from Francis T. Maloney High School where she was vice president for the class of 2023, and belonged to the International Spanish Honor Society, the International Thespian Society and the Tri-M Music Honor Society.

2023 California JAX College Scholarship Awardee: Ella Jean Raymundo

Raymundo will use her JAX College Scholarship for her undergraduate degree at Amherst College where she plans to study biology. She hopes to one day be a molecular epidemiologist, expanding her knowledge of diseases, and helping disadvantaged communities through health-based solutions. “Though I am young, I am driven by my mission to harness the true potential of science by finding solutions to erase health care quality disparity within disadvantaged groups,” she said in her application. Raymundo said that in addition to pursuing a career in science, she hopes to continue participating in service-related activities, including mentoring high school students interested in STEM, and working to diversify and improve organ donor programs. She graduated from Laguna Creek High School, where she placed multiple times in the Science Olympiad, participated in the UC Davis Young Scholars Program and was an intern with the Asian American Donor Program.

The Jackson Laboratory College Scholarship Program

To date, the JAX College Scholarship Program has awarded a total of$170,000 in scholarships to students from underserved backgrounds in Maine, Connecticut and Sacramento County, California. This program supports students whose goals align with JAX’s mission to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and with JAX Genomic Education’s mission to create diverse and inclusive educational programs where students feel valued and empowered.

JAX Genomic Education’s initiatives aim to ignite the passion of future scientists, advance careers and inform the public about the unfolding promise of genetics and genomics. In addition to the JAX College Scholarship Program, the Genomic Education team hosts and sponsors the Summer Student ProgramTeaching the Genome Generation, the Maine State Science Fair, STEM Open Houses in Maine and Connecticut, and additional programs.