Scholar Spotlight: Mariana Zollinger

When Mariana Zollinger took her first International Baccalaureate Biology class in ninth grade, she knew what she wanted for her future.

“I always knew I loved medicine and the idea of being a doctor, but in ninth grade when I took my first biology class it reassured me that I was on the right path,” said Mariana Zollinger, Uplift North Hills scholar.

All Uplift classes are aligned with the International Baccalaureate curriculum, which encourages scholars to make connections between their studies and the real world. For example, Zollinger was able to investigate how biology connects with topics of morality, ethics, culture, economics, politics and the environment. This interdisciplinary approach to learning helps scholars like Zollinger, quickly understand the fundamental elements of coursework and rapidly accelerates growth in the subject.

“My Biology class has been so fundamental, teaching me all of the basics and more advanced parts of biology,” said Zollinger

To help young people appreciate joy of science, she wrote her first children’s book called Louis the Water Drop. The story follows a droplet of water as it moves through the water cycle for the first time. In addition to writing a book, Zollinger attended a summer Harvard program to get a jump start on her pre-med studies and volunteered at Scottish Rite Hospital to get hands on experience in pediatrics. Throughout the year she has worked with the Road To College and Career Team to create a list of best-fit colleges.

“There are so many options for college but thankfully with the help from the RTCC team I was able to find schools that were a match for me, even some I wouldn’t have ever had on my radar. It’s a great feeling to have someone on your side during the college process,” said Zollinger.

Zollinger recently decided to continue her education at Texas Christians University after a surprise announcement. TCU faculty members visited her at Uplift North Hills to offer her a full-ride scholarship to support her goal of becoming a pediatrician.

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