LAUREL Scholars Development Lead
Mikaela majored in Molecular Biology at Princeton University. Post-graduation, she worked in clinical cancer research. She is currently a medical student who hopes to pursue a surgical subspecialty. Since high school, she has been heavily involved in non-profit work focusing upon a number of important topics. In undergrad, she found a passion for educational advocacy and joined Teach for America as a program ambassador. In this role, she was challenged to educate herself on the complex societal issues that govern educational access in an effort to better recruit and inform her peers. During this process, she began to reflect upon the ways in which the barriers she studied impacted her own educational journey. This period of growth proved to be transformative as she found a passion for mentorship with a particular focus on underrepresented and marginalized individuals. She has provided application support for undergraduate education, medical school, law school, and MBA program applicants.
As the Development Lead for the Ivy Scholars pro bono program, Laurel Scholars, she focuses her efforts on developing and enhancing the structural components of the program. Her main goal is to create a program that provides socially informed support to its students with a long-term goal of expanding the reach of the program through establishing strategic alliances. In her role, she works to create and formalize program elements that reflect the extra support and care needed to work with students from traditionally underrepresented and marginalized backgrounds. She is also assisting in the creation of programming specific to the transition to college and establishing ongoing guidance for undergraduate students.
Mikaela believes in the value of taking ownership of the unique skills and lessons gained from an individual’s life experiences. Throughout her educational journey, she found that the obstacles she encountered enriched her own educational experience and those of her peers. She credits self-reflection as an important aspect of her feeling empowered by her life circumstances and not in spite of them. She is committed to bringing this mindset to her role, in an effort to ensure that the Laurel Scholars Program provides a space for students to step confidently into the next phase of their educational journey while taking pride in their unique stories.
When she’s not studying for medical school, volunteering with her local Junior League, or devoting her time to work, Mikaela likes to lose herself in the magic of classic cinema. As a self-described cinephile, she loves to explore history through the lens of film. In addition to this, she continues to maintain her practice as a classically trained pianist and travels whenever time allows.
Alma Mater: Princeton University
“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” – Oscar Wilde