Seton Catholic Prep’s Valeria Juvera Cruz will study in New York City this summer under a program that has welcomed “intellectually adventurous” students to historic learning centers in the U.S., Great Britain, France and Spain for more than 30 years.
Juvera Cruz, who will be a junior at West Chandler’s Seton Catholic next fall, initially thought she missed the opportunity to apply for Oxbridge Academic Programs because she was unable to attend a presentation by a representative from Oxbridge.
A classmate who attended urged Juvera Cruz to apply anyway, saying she would be a perfect candidate for the prestigious program. The classmate was correct.
As an incoming freshman, the straight-A student scored high on standardized tests, qualified for the Science and Engineering program and was placed into three honors classes.
“I find Valeria to be hard-working, eager to learn and always looking for opportunities to enhance her education,” her counselor, Jerry Mullins, noted in his recommendation letter.
The Chandler resident will depart June 27 for her four-week study in Manhattan, where she will stay in the dorms of Barnard College. She received a full scholarship for the program, which costs $8,550.
Oxbridge attendees may choose two immersive areas of study, including medicine, law, business, international relations and political science.
Juvera Cruz said her passion has always been medicine ever since her 5-year-old sister, Valentina, underwent surgery to repair a hole in her heart.
The Oxbridge medical program will introduce her to the principles of human anatomy and physiology, the pathology and significance of certain diseases, the challenges of modern medical science and the variety of careers in medicine.
As studious as she is, Juvera Cruz probably wouldn’t mind poring over medical texts for a month. Oxbridge organizers have other activities in mind, listing possible excursions to the Empire State Building, the 9-11 Memorial, Central Park, Broadway shows, museums and Fifth Avenue.
While many arrive in the Big Apple with stars in their eyes, Juvera Cruz will have medicine on her mind.
“My dream has always been to study at Johns Hopkins University with the goal of becoming a cardiovascular surgeon,” said Juvera Cruz, who will be the first in her family to graduate from college. “I’ve always thought it would be so cool to perform life-saving surgery.”