Bound Brook, NJ — Kayrine Calderon, a senior at Bound Brook High School who aspires to be a hematologist, has been named to the 2024 class of Governor’s STEM Scholars. The statewide education initiative brings together New Jersey’s high-achieving high school and college students to engage with New Jersey’s vast STEM economy.
Kayrine’s prestigious selection highlights her academic success and aspirations in the field of biology. She first became interested in hematology and oncology during a sophomore biology class at Bound Brook High School.
“In my biology class, I was doing a project where I was assigned to study cancer or disease, and I chose sickle cell disease,” the Bound Brook native said. “I was fascinated by how blood cells work in our bodies and started to think about a career in the medical field.”
Her teachers at BBHS have encouraged her interest and her goal to major in molecular biology on the pre-med track in college. Mr. Lee Casperson, a history teacher, in particular, has been influential in her decision and helped her get into a summer program at Raritan Valley Community College to learn about electrocardiogram (EKG).
“It is nice to have someone who is there to push you,” Kayrine said. “He is always talking about the good of other people and encouraging me to branch out.”
Likewise, Mr. Steven Fischer, a social studies teacher, encouraged her to apply to the Governor’s STEM Scholar program and gave her feedback on her essay. “He’s been pushing me forward since seventh grade,” she said.
Kayrine is treasurer of her school’s Social Studies Honor Society and Interact Club, a member of the National Honors Society, and a volunteer at the Somerset County Library. She’s involved in many other activities in school such as Book Club, Art Club, and Student Council.
The Governor’s STEM Scholars 2024 class is comprised of 131 Scholars from 20 New Jersey counties. 63 percent of the class identify as female and 82 percent as students of color. When they graduate in May 2024, they will join an alumni cohort of nearly 850 scholars.
The program introduces New Jersey’s students to industry, academic, and government STEM research in New Jersey, to establish a profound relationship between these students, STEM, and the state.
Kayrine looks forward to gaining more experience in STEM fields and interacting with other students with similar interests for a STEM-related research project.