Navy dependent Sydney Barba was awarded a $3,000 American Honda Foundation/ThanksUSA scholarship to continue undergraduate studies at the University of Florida.
Driven by the desire to better understand her own metabolic genetic disorder, Phenylketonuria, Sydney majors in Microbiology and Cell Science. She intends to continue her education and pursue a doctorate, with a specialty in pediatric genetics.
“The foundation of all life revolves around DNA and its varying sequences that create the unique and exceptional differences among humans. The minute shift in genetic coding that leads to different eye colors, skin pigmentations, hair colors, or genetic disorders, fascinates me. I aim to help children understand that their own genetic differences are more than a mistake, but a gift granted to them.”
To complement her studies, Sydney serves as a research assistant at the University of Florida's Cancer and Genetics Institute. She also volunteers in the Pediatric Genetic Department of the University of Florida Health Shands Hospital.
“Thank you to all of the individuals and organizations that have contributed to the furthering of my education. I truly appreciate your generous donations. As cliché as it sounds, investing in the future of tomorrow will hopefully set the future on the right course, and I hope to make an impressive impact in the world of science.”