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My name is Lian Camacho and I’m currently majoring in Biomedical Sciences. The 2022-2023 school year will be by second year at UCF. I graduated from Somerset Academy Charter High School in Pembroke Pines, Florida, in 2021. So far, my favorite classes at UCF have been Biology I and II. I’ve always been interested in how life works and these two classes have really given me a better understanding of the basics of life on Earth and how living things are connected to one another, from our friends and family to the smallest plant in our backyards. Not surprisingly, my favorite instructor at UCF so far has been Ms. Yeargain, my Biology II instructor. She is an amazing teacher and provides students with so many resources to succeed in her class, which is heavy on memorization on many complex topics. What I personally like the most about her course is that, instead of asking us to read the textbook for the class, she picks out the specific information from the book that she wants us to learn and keeps it on a separate tab on her class page. I really appreciate this because it makes me feel sure that I’m studying the correct material in detail, and not studying information that I might not need. I decided to join the EXCEL program because of all the benefits it had for incoming STEM students like me. I especially liked the idea of having a “small school” feeling on such a big campus like UCF’s, and being able to take classes and study with the same students and tutors. As a current UCF student, I hope that the going forward, the EXCEL/GEMS program will improve my friendships with other students in the program and will continue to better prepare me for my future courses. Aside from academics, I have many interests, such as listening to music, fashion, visual arts, visiting theme parks, going on adventures, trying and making new types of food… and having some late night fun with friends every now and then. To wrap it up, some words of advice I have for upcoming GEMS freshmen are: don’t be afraid to get out there and try new experiences! UCF has a very welcoming environment for any of your needs and interests 🙂 GKCO!