Math Major, Janelle Walker, from Jamaica Going to Harvard University

Janelle Walker going to Harvard

Jamaican-born Janelle Walker, 21, is currently majoring in mathematics at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York, and this summer, she will be traveling to Harvard University to participate in an exclusive six-week-long summer program. The Biostatistics and Computational Biology program offered at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard gives students the chance to further their studies in the sciences and math. Walker came to the United States from the island at the age of 17; she had been a student at Camperdown High School in Kingston. Walker received excellent scores on the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examination and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Exam. Both are regional tests administered by the Caribbean Examinations Council; the highest grade in the exams is a one, and Walker achieved that number in all the exams. Walker says she is looking forward to the Harvard summer program because it will let her combine her major in math and her minor in environmental sciences in a unique way. A former high school cheerleader, Walker discovered her passion for math doing problems with her father and sister in her backyard, using rocks to illustrate addition, subtraction, and division. Walker is vehement about disliking stereotypes about math and believes that more people of her generation could enjoy the subject by making just a simple change in their minds. As a tutor at Medgar Evers, she understands that students have a hard time with math because they don’t see how math operates outside of the classroom or how it can be used in their daily lives. At the Harvard summer program, Walker will learn about various methods applied to biological, environmental, and medical research through hands-on experience using tools that professionals use in determining health risks and genetic mutations.

About the author

Stephanie Korney