Katie O’Connell was sponsored for the STAR Scholarship by Chapter TR, Oceanside, California. Katie grew up living out of a suitcase as her mom moved their family frequently to escape an abusive situation. They couch surfed and bounced around, staying where they could. Finally, when Katie was 15, they found a small place to call their own. That same year, Katie began her research internship at a UC San Diego biology lab that deepened her love for science. She tested the effects of water quality on zebrafish, analyzed the diversity of tree populations along the West Coast, and studied how the brains of male and female fruitflies respond differently to stress. Her research on ADHD diagnosis and medication rates in American children was published in Nature’s Scientific Reports. College, once only a dream, is now a reality for 19-year-old Katie. She attends college, where she plans to major in biology.

Resource Info


Convention of International Chapter, P.E.O. Projects, STAR Scholarship

Resource Type

Chapter Programs, Videos


September 2023

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