Alexandra Wood

Hometown: Old Bridge, NJ

high school: Cathedral

college: Harvard University

MAJOR: Government

If there were to be one sentence that reflects the tremendous dedication of Alexandra Wood, it would be Jean de la Fontaine's, “Man is so made that when anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish.”

From a very early age, Alexandra knew that she wanted to dedicate her life to helping people. As a volunteer at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, which often cares for the most underprivileged and needy people of New York City, Alexandra rapidly became a prominent member of the hospital community. “The first word that comes to my mind when I think of Alex is passion. She exhibits this passion for medicine, science, and people,” the department head noted. Alexandra's most fulfilling work came when she volunteered in the Department of Pediatrics, where often she would help care for children suffering from horrific ailments. Alexandra's dedication and talent were acknowledged when she was presented with the Volunteer Award and was featured in the United Hospital Fund's Annual Report. Following a lecture and laboratory program at Weill Cornell Medical School, Alexandra received a Certificate of Achievement.

While volunteering at the hospital, Alexandra realized that she not only fell in love with the interpersonal side of medicine, but also the scientific aspects. She was motivated to undertake a tremendous task: beginning her very own science research project. While working on her apoptosis/cancer biology research, Alexandra noticed that her school did not have a system to support budding scientists: “Brilliant students were completely oblivious to the fact that there were even science competitions. It was very discouraging.” Because of Alexandra's philanthropic nature, she was inspired to found the Science Research Society with a fellow classmate. Outside of the classroom, SRS aims to spread awareness of the vast opportunities in the sciences for high school students.

Ranking in the top 2% of her class, Alexandra was one of the most active students at her school. Aside from being a French and Biology tutor, laboratory assistant, and president and co-founder of her school's Classics Club, Alexandra devoted a large amount of time to being a glockenspiel player in the marching band. “Just seeing the smiling faces of spectators cheering as the band marches up Fifth Avenue,” Alexandra says, “gives me a sense of purpose and a feeling of accomplishment.” Because of her superb academic and extracurricular achievements, Alexandra received a coveted membership in her school's chapter of the National Honor Society, in addition to receiving honors in English, biology, French, history, mathematics, and religion.

From the moment she noticed that she was the only female finalist in the third grade diocesan math bee, Alexandra knew that her future would involve breaking down many of the gender barriers apparent in society. She hopes to become a surgeon and advance her cancer research by entering a medical scientist-training program to work towards a PhD in cell biology. Alexandra plans to use her skills to help those in impoverished neighborhoods, especially those inhabited by members of the Haitian community, of which she is a proud member.

Alexandria graduated from Harvard in 2003 with an AB in Government. She's currently the Global Digital Marketing Manager for Havas Worldwide.

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