I graduated from Florida Memorial University with a B.S in psychology and a minor in Criminal justice. Following graduation I was accepted into the NIH Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis where I conducted research on substance use and minority mental health. In the fall I will begin my studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for their Medical/Clinical Psychology PhD program. There I will conduct research on social and emotional risk and protective factors among African Americans, specifically those who have encountered a significant amount of poverty and community violence. My ultimate career goal is to become a research professor with my own lab at a university. I hope to focus my future research on the influence of social and cultural factors on behavioral health outcomes such as substance use, risky sexual behaviors, and delinquency among racial/ethnic minorities.