John M. Crespo

February Alumni Spotlight

LEAP Academy Class of 2020

John M. Crespo graduated from LEAP Academy in 2020, were discovered his interest in Biomedical Science, I come from a family that has a long history with cancer. This initially led me to the internship program at Cooper Hospital in Camden where I shadowed doctors and assisted the staff in the cancer center. The sense of dread I would see in the faces of patients with limited treatment options reminded me of my own loved ones who were previously in their shoes. This early experience instilled in me that I wanted to go beyond treating patients and instead wanted to pursue research to find better treatment options for them.

Attending LEAP academy gave me opportunities that are not present in other schools. One of these opportunities being the chance to take college credits in my early high school years. This led me to finish my high school education with roughly 33 credits, which I was able to transfer to Rutgers University -Camden. Given this, I was able to get a headstart to my research career with the MARC undergraduate research program. This program is provided for college students who are beginning their sophomore year with an interest in research or a PhD. With the credit opportunities that LEAP has given me, I was able to be a part of this program and continue the path of my dreams.

With these opportunities, I was fortunate enough to receive a conference poster award, as well as publish a research paper in the neuroscience field. I am currently in the process of applying to Summer Undergraduate Internship Programs to gain more research experience. This will help me be a competitive candidate for PhD programs.