The students of the 2009 Oncofertility Saturday Academy (OSA) held their graduation ceremony on March 13, 2009 in the Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. Fifteen students from the Junior Oncofertility Saturday Academy (JOSA) and 15 from the Senior Oncofertility Saturday Academy (SOSA) received Certificates of Completion and OSA patches to place on their lab coats, a significant sign of achievement in the medical field.
Students also had the opportunity to share their experiences with parents and staff members in attendance at the event. One of the goals of OSA is to encourage young women to pursue educations and careers in research and medicine. The class of 2009 took this to heart, sharing stories of inspiration and exploration and of personal strength and growth through the OSA program. Many young women found talents and skills they never knew they had, and many others were inspired to push the boundaries of their education further to become future leaders in science and math. The students found inspiration not only in the doctors and scientists who led their courses, but in each other, providing a strong and valuable support network that will carry them through their continued education.
That support network was no more apparent than in the attendance of three OSA alumni at this year's graduation event. Antavia O'Banner, a freshman at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, is currently majoring in science, but hasn't declared a specific area with the eventual career goal of being a surgeon. Natalia Palomino is a freshman at University of Illinois at Chicago. Her academic goal is to major in biology and her career goal is to become a doctor. And Guadalupe Becerra, who, in the fall, will attend Roosevelt University in Chicago, but intends to transfer to a university that will prepare her for a degree in the veterinary sciences. These students, who had completed the program in previous years, showed their support for the continued success of OSA and its participants.
Congratulations to the graduates of OSA 2009, and best wishes for your continued success!