Youth Voices

  1. Heritage

My name is Stefani Gjorcheska and I am 22 years old. I am originally from Veles, Macedonia. Thankfully, I chose to go to high school at the Yahya Kemal College, so my family moved to Skopje. While in high school, I competed in international scientific Olympiads.

  1. Success Story 

My research experiences throughout high school enabled me to discover my passion for genetics and the medical research. Striving for better education, I chose Arizona State University as the best fit for my interests. I obtained my Bachelorette’s degree at ASU in genetics and Cell-Developmental Biology. During the first year in Arizona, I founded an undergraduate student organization in genetics. We, as a group, educated the students and many interested individuals about rare genetic disorders and recent discoveries in the field. During my sophomore year, I became a research assistant at the University of Arizona in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences. I spent the next 3 years there, researching in the field of immunology and inflammation. The hard work resulted in great knowledge and discoveries, two poster presentations as well as a potential publication. During my last two years, I was a community assistant at the university – one of the most challenging job an undergraduate student can have. Also, I was shadowing at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital for more than a year and at the Zan Mitrev Clinic for a few weeks in Skopje. Moreover, I had internships at the Macedonian Academy of the Sciences and the Arts, at the Genetics lab under the University Children’s Hospital in Skopje and the Gynecology Department at the University Clinics. Starting in July this year, I will be starting my doctoral degree at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in developmental biology and embryology. My research will be focusing on the contributions of the mother’s immune system in the development of rare genetic disorders in the baby. In the bigger picture, I imagine myself as a licensed genetic counselor with a rich research background who will consult patients on rare pre-natal developmental/inherited conditions globally and of course, in Macedonia.

  1. Macedonia2025/ Giving Back to the Homeland

I believe that I have unique goals as a Macedonian individual and I would love to see a huge change in the field of embryology and developmental biology in my country. Therefore, I would like to perform some research in Macedonia and collaborate with the professionals on specific topics as well as consult patients. Macedonia 2025 is a great organization that will help me accomplish my goals and introduce me to other very outstanding Macedonians globally that could potentially contribute to my networking opportunities.