Intern Stories

“If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.” — Isaac Newton

It is no secret that success in a career—and in one’s life- is in no small part due to having a great mentor. We all know we need them; some of us have been fortunate enough to have them; and I have had the great, good fortune of being able to be one for a host of young, talented students. Anyone who has shared this role of mentor can attest to the personal satisfaction that comes from watching a young person reach their full potential. Mentoring, however, goes far beyond that; an effective mentor is someone who cares and what an enormous honor it has been to care for these individuals! It turns out that you don’t have to know Avogadro’s number or the chemical formula for paraformaldehyde; to be a great mentor means you have to know and care about each person. A lot of these young people put a fantastic amount of pressure on themselves to achieve, and some worry that they won’t be able to leave out their dreams. Our program is here to say, “it’s not as hard as you think and we’re here to help you see that.” What an incredible honor to be a part of making a person’s dreams come true. Thank you for your belief and support in our program!

My Best,


Ryan, 17, Homestead HS

 "Participating in the STaRS internship has opened up new horizons for me and deepened my love for science in an indescribable way. I have been able to connect knowledge from the classroom to real life experiments in the laboratory and have realized the impact that research has on the surrounding world to make it a better place for mankind to live in. Interning for seven weeks with inspirational mentors and peers who have not only shared a deep love for science but pushed me to become the best version of myself has changed me for the better, and I look forward to a career in medicine in the future!"  

Jessica, 16, Evergreen Valley HS

 "Spending my summer at Helms Lab was an eye opening experience that has encouraged me to pursue a future in science." 

Kavita, 21, UCLA

"My experience at the Helms lab has helped me discover my strengths and has given me the confidence to pursue a career in science. The researchers here are so inspiring and I am grateful to have had this opportunity to work with them." 

Nora, 17, Homestead HS

 "I have learned so much at Dr. Helm's lab and my experience here has greatly expanded my interest in medicine. The incredible doctors I got to work along side with and the amazing interns I have met through this program will be something I will cherish forever."

Chianna, 20, UC Santa Cruz

"This internship allowed me to meet so many wonderful friends and lifelong mentors. It has opened my mind to so many different career opportunities. I feel fully supported in my future career endeavors!" 

Sofya, 21, San Mateo Community College District

 "The STaRS program opened my eyes to the world of research, and the skills and knowledge that I gained from working with such an amazing group of people will support me in achieving my goals."

Rachel, 17, Leigh HS

 "The STaRS internship prompted me to think about the sheer power and relevance of science in my life. The 7 weeks — and counting — at the Helms Lab has endowed me with lessons in patience, resilience, and collaboration that I have not encountered before."

Tram, 16, Carlmont HS

 "Having the experience of working at the Helms Lab was a great opportunity that helped me take a step to achieve my dreams."

Salma, 18, UC Davis

 “The Helms Lab and the time I have spent here have set me on the path towards my dream career goals and pushed me forward in a way no other experience has.” - Salma

Shannon, 21, USC

 "I am so grateful for the Helms Lab for giving me the opportunity to rediscover my passion in science and for providing me the space to learn from amazing mentors and fellow interns. Not only did I learn technical lab skills, but I also learned skills that will help me become a better leader and that will help me achieve my goals and my dream career in healthcare."

Savannah, 20, Stanford

 "I’m extremely grateful that I was given the opportunity to work in the Helm’s lab because I never had the chance to engage in research prior to this. It really confirmed to me why I love science and gave me the absolute confidence to steadfastly pursue a medical career, now having a deep appreciation for the tedious work of research."

Addis, 19, UC Santa Cruz

 "It was such an honor being able to come back and work at the Helms lab. Being surrounded by such distinguished, intellectuals really inspired me and invigorated my passion to pursue science."

Alicia, 16, Lynbrook HS

"The people I've met and the memories I've made here remind me daily of how deep and wonderful science is. It's been truly amazing to practice the perseverance, creativity, and love for exploration that research demands of one here at the Helms lab."

Bengisu, 17, Adrian Wilcox HS | Anita, 17, Homestead HS

"The Helms Lab was a great working environment with all kind of students. As I worked, I also got to meet with so many people from different backgrounds." - Bengisu

"This summer's STaRS internship allowed me to pursue my dreams of working in a lab and solidified my goal of becoming a research scientist in the hopefully near future." - Anita

Vanessa, 17, Notre Dame HS

 "The STaRS Internship allowed me to immerse myself in a professional lab setting and start my journey towards a career in science. I was inspired by the people at the lab and the innovative research being done."

Amara, 17, Lynbrook HS

 "I can truly say the interactive working environment of Helms was an invaluable and eye opening experience for me. Though I was new to the science field, I was given the opportunity to actively participate in my own research."