We are proud of Andre Shomorony and Ismael Fernandez, two outstanding Quest Scholars who recently were awarded The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. This fellowship supports the graduate education of 30 immigrants or children of immigrants in the U.S., selected from a pool of 1,200 applicants. Each fellow receives up to $90,000 in financial support over two years. Learn more about Andre:
Name: Andre Shomorony
College: Yale University, Class of 2013
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Graduate Program: MD, joint Harvard-MIT program in Health Science and Technology
Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Aventura, FL
Tell us about your background.
I grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and moved to Miami, FL, with my parents and brothers in 2005. My family is of Jewish European ancestry.
Why did you apply to college through QuestBridge?
A good friend of mine had been a recipient of the College Match when I was a junior, and he guided me through the process. My family had moved to the U.S. in search of more financial stability, and college costs seemed extremely daunting; a program that could potentially fund my college education, therefore, was a can’t-miss opportunity.
How did attending your college open doors for you, and how did you become interested in your current academic pursuits?
At Yale, I was able to get involved with science and medicine in and out of the classroom. Not only did I pursue biomedical research, but I became involved with the Yale Relay for Life and volunteered as a medical interpreter at Haven Free Clinic, where I learned what it was like to interact with patients, and fully developed my passion for clinical medicine.
Describe any research or work experiences that were particularly influential.
As mentioned above, my work as a medical interpreter at the Haven Free Clinic, in Connecticut, drew me close to medicine. In parallel, my research in the field of microtissue engineering motivated me to pursue a career in biomedical research. Today, my career goal is to combine clinical medicine with biomedical research.
Were you involved with the Quest Scholars chapter on your college campus? If so, how did your involvement affect or shape you?
Not only did I remain involved with the Quest Scholars chapter at Yale —participating in various on-campus events— but I also represented the Yale chapter as a [Quest] Ambassador in Florida. I felt that it was important to give back to the community by spreading the word about a program that made my dream of attending college come true.
How will you use your PD Soros fellowship? What are your future academic or professional goals?
I will use the PD Soros fellowship to fund part of my MD degree, which I’m pursuing in the joint Harvard-MIT program in Health Sciences and Technology. Though I still hope to explore different areas of medicine and biomedical research, at the moment I plan to work at the intersection between engineering and surgery, developing new tools and techniques to improve the field of reconstructive surgery.
Do you have any tips or advice for Quest Scholars who might be interested in obtaining an award like the PD Soros fellowship, as they are navigating their academic careers in college?
Be good at what you are passionate about. PD Soros is more than a merit-based award; it is a fellowship that takes into account a person’s whole story: their successes, struggles, and sources of inspiration.