Left to right: Rosie Albarran-Zeckler, education outreach coordinator of the Scripps Research SF Grad Program; Dorian Burton, assistant executive director and chief program officer of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust; and Douglas Bingham, executive vice president, Scripps Research Florida Operations

The Florida campus of Scripps Research celebrated the 15th anniversary of its highly competitive internship program on Aug. 1 with a dinner and program recognizing the generous sponsorship of its benefactor, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust. 

More than 40 Kenan Fellows from across the United States returned to the campus to thank the trust and the Kenan family, and recall the first summer they set foot in a laboratory. “Without this program, I don’t think I would have discovered my love for research so early on,” says Gabrielle Marvez, studying Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. 

Since the program’s 2004 launch, 165 Palm Beach County high school students and 24 science teachers have become Kenan Fellows, working and learning alongside the institute’s scientists and graduate students. Their fellowships were made possible thanks to over $2 million donated by the charitable trust since 2005. 

Kenan Fellow Andrew Acevedo, PhD, says the fact that he pursued a doctorate in biomedical engineering at Boston University had much to do with the inspiration he experienced as a Kenan Fellow. 

“I am the first person in my family to pursue a career in science and obtain a PhD degree,” says Acevedo. “The summer I spent as a Kenan Fellow was the first step on this journey…It was eye-opening and exciting.”