Auriel is an assiduous and optimistic student with a love for traveling, learning, and helping those in need. She takes pride in her character and hard work and uses these tools to inspire others and herself to dream big.
Life’s challenges have shaped much of who Auriel is and what she wants to do with her future. After losing her father in a house fire in 2013, her mother has suffered from a chronic illness which required Auriel to take a leadership role in the management of her home, in addition to the leadership she has shown in her community. While a student at Northeast High school, Auriel served as president of Student Council her freshman and sophomore years and Health Occupations Students of America president her junior year. In addition to these positions, she also founded her school’s National Honor Society Chapter. Utilizing the students in the National Honor Society, she expanded Northeast’s tutoring program to serve both students at the high school and a local feeder elementary school. The programs soon expanded from tutoring to include one-on-one sessions, research/science fair presentation help, test preparation, and gifted sessions to aid in student achievement.
Though Auriel has significant leadership experience, many of her achievements are attributed to her research. Since her sophomore year of high school, Auriel has independently researched and developed different methods to cultivate organic crops to try to alleviate the effects of Genetically Modified Food (GMO) bans and other agricultural barriers. It is her hope that her research will allow millions to be able to sustain themselves without inciting backlash from the political and scientific communities. For this research, Auriel has received numerous top awards, including a Naval Science Award, an Intel Science and Engineering Award, and a National Agri-science Award. Her experience as a researcher aided her in gaining entrance into Georgia Institute of Technology’s Bio@Tech Program and Tuskegee Institute’s Biotechnology Program during the summer of 2013. Along with these university experiences, Auriel earned funded lab space at Fort Valley University and earned a place in the 2014 Georgia Governors Honors Program, studying Biology.
Though Auriel’s main focus has been her technical research in the past, she looks forward to donating her skills to international health in the future. Studying Spanish and Mandarin Chinese in her spare time, Auriel hopes to use her voice to speak and represent a variety of communities across the world. She also actively works to develop her critical thinking skills and technical healthcare skills as a Red Cross Volunteer, an intern in a private practice (Georgia Heart Physicians), a Hospital Volunteer, and Health Occupations Students of America member. She hopes these experiences will allow her to ultimately be able to empathize with everyone in the healthcare system so that she may serve patients, at home and abroad, to the best of her abilities.