Monticello High student named 2021 Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar

Updated: Feb. 6, 2021 at 7:33 PM EST
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Virtual learning is hard enough for many high school students. Conducting life-saving health research is even harder. One Albemarle County Public Schools student is doing both.

Rachel Field, a senior at Monticello High School, was recently named a 2021 Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar for her potentially ground-breaking research in ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Her findings may actually help slow the progression of the disease.

“To hear the news that I was joining this community of amazing scientists that has so much history and so many accomplishments under their belts, I was shocked and utterly ecstatic,” Field said.

As part of the award, Field won $2,000, which she will put toward college. The high school will also receive $2,000 to go toward its Health and Medical Sciences Academy, which Field is a part of.

“When we introduced the Health and Medical Science Academy, we knew that it could be a powerful experience for students, paving the way for future careers and experiences that will have long lasting impacts on our community locally and also globally,” said Jeremy Dove, the director of the school’s Health and Medical Sciences Academy.

Field is continuing to conduct her research through Regeneron remotely, on top of her school work and extra curricular activities. Both she and Dove say her work is a testament to what students are able to accomplish, even if they’re learning from home.

“Albemarle County has a rich set of opportunities for all of our students, and they’re just ripe for the picking, so take advantage of those opportunities, because you never know how that’s going to impact you now and into the future,” Dove said.

Field is encouraging students to take advantage of the opportunities available in school, and to not be discouraged by the remote aspect of research and learning.

”A lot of the time a high school student or even someone older than that would doubt that they have that capability and that adaptability to this new scary situation, but if you put in the work and you look for these opportunities, you have connections with amazing mentors and teachers in your field of study, I promise that these people can accomplish what they want to,” Field said.

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