Gabriel initially dreamt of becoming a cognitive neuroscientist, entranced by the possibilities of brain research to help us better understand human behavior. However, after experiencing and realizing the constant financial barriers limiting low-income students from having equitable scientific opportunities, their interests evolved, leading to the creation of FLi Sci—an organization ensuring poverty never prevents low-income students of color from becoming leading researchers.
A QuestBridge and Gates Millennium Scholar from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Gabriel graduated with honors from Brown University with an Sc.B. in Cognitive Neuroscience, and earned an M.S. in Neuroscience and Education from Columbia University. Gabriel is also pursuing a Ph.D. in Developmental and Psychological Sciences at Stanford University as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar studying the effects of socioeconomic conditions on children's development and academic motivations to pursue science careers.
FLi Sci believes in the power of representation, acknowledging the adage, 'You can't be what you don't see'—and right now, low-income students of color do not see themselves in science. The severe lack of diversity among scientists is because research experiences—an essential educational experience to access science career paths—are not equitably accessible to all students. That is why our flagship program, FLi Sci Scholars, provides low-income high school students a firsthand glimpse into the daily lives of science professionals by believing in their potential to lead their own research projects. Our goal is to dramatically enhance the number of historically excluded students earning doctoral or medical degrees, ensuring that our leading researchers mirror the demographics of the populations affected by scientific, medical, and technological advancements.