Elsy Naveo loves working in the chemistry lab.

“I love mixing solutions and formulating new products,” said the Chemistry major, who is entering her sophomore year. “Maybe I can eventually create something that will help people with their health issues, allowing them to live a better and more comfortable life.”

Naveo recently won a prestigious scholarship from the American Chemical Society (ACS). The ACS Scholars Program awards renewable scholarships of up to $5,000 to underrepresented minority students who want to enter the fields of chemistry or chemistry-related fields.

Naveo was elated when she learned that her essays and recommendations had earned her the $3,000 scholarship award and access to an ACS mentor to help with her research and career goals.

Professional networking and volunteerism

This latest accomplishment capped off a busy freshman year for Naveo. As a member of the Suffolk University Chapter of the ACS, she attended a weeklong national meeting in Anaheim, California. She also volunteered for a Habitat for Humanity alternative spring break program, painting homes for low-income residents in Denver, Colorado.

“I loved my freshman year at Suffolk; it was a very positive experience,” says Naveo, who finished the academic year with a 3.99 grade point average. “I felt I had so many opportunities that I may not have had at other schools.”

Naveo, 18, has been inspired “to help people” since witnessing poverty firsthand in the Dominican Republic, where she was born. She said her goal remains to one day make an impact on improving the lives of others. She aims to earn a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences as a means to that end.