A senior at West Adams Preparatory High School, Dominique Fernandez is President of College Ambassadors and Bible Club, Treasurer of Thespian Society and a member of Senior Cabinet.
Dominique has served in two internships -- at Iridescent Learning, a summer engineering camp and through the LA-HIP program, at Saban Research Institute, a biomedical research lab affiliated with the Children’s Hospital. LA-HIP gives opportunities to Hispanic and African-American students. Out of about 100 applicants, only 16 are chosen for the prestigious program, which pays for transportation, food, and SAT test preparation. For six weeks Dominique worked in the lab studying the regeneration of zebra fish hearts at the end of which she had to present her research in front of the hospital’s employees, family and friends.
“I learned that at juvenile stages, the species of zebra fish have this rare ability to regenerate their heart. After an induced injury, the regenerated heart shows no scars, as though an injury was never performed. Mammalian hearts, such as our hearts, are vulnerable to heart disease and heart attack nearly always causing death, and they definitely do not have the ability to regenerate. The regenerative processes of the zebra fish are far along the line from when it may help us discover something new about human hearts but there is a possibility that someday in the future, this study might be the answer our human race has been looking for.”
“School or education has always had a place in my heart,” explains Dominique. “Although, school can definitely be challenging sometimes, I always think about my future and how my hard work will pay off. My favorite subject is math. I am currently taking AP Calculus BC” (in other words, advanced calculus). She prefers math because it is “EXACT.” “I think that aspect makes students work harder to get an answer or solve a problem because there are no in-between answers,” Dominique explains.
She also enjoys public oration, frequently speaking in front of students, staff, college reps, and even at the 2012 Gala of the organization LA’s Promise. The busy 17-year old has also appeared in the high school musical productions of Little Shop of Horrors and Hairspray.
Dominique hopes to become an engineer and is currently applying to several private colleges, including Stanford, USC, CalTech, Harvey Mudd, and possibly Smith.
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